Specialising in allergy as a career - BSACI

Specialising in allergy as a career

The specialty of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (ACI) is the branch of medicine concerned with the body’s immune system. The clinical practice of this specialty encompasses clinical and laboratory activities dealing with the study, diagnosis, and management of patients with diseases resulting from disordered immunological mechanisms, (both deficient and exaggerated) and conditions in which immunological manipulations form an important part of treatment.

In the last three decades, there has been a significant increase in the requirement for allergy, clinical and laboratory immunology services. This is due to improved case ascertainment and treatment options for patients who have primary and secondary immune deficiencies (especially those caused by increased use of chemotherapy, immunosuppressive drugs and biological agents). There has been a significant increase in the prevalence of allergic conditions and demand for allergy services with new and developing therapeutic intervention options in the fields of both allergy and immunology.  There has been a corresponding requirement for immunology laboratories to provide support for primary care and secondary care in diagnosis and management of both allergic and immunological conditions. 

Physicians in ACI specialise in the care of patients with heightened immune reactivity (allergy) and failure of the immune system (immunodeficiency). 
As patient-facing clinicians, physicians in ACI are principally responsible for: 

  • Providing specialist allergy care services encompassing the assessment and management of patients with a broad spectrum of common atopic and allergic conditions (such as food, drug and insect venom allergy, anaphylaxis, asthma, eczema, rhino-conjunctivitis, and urticaria and angioedema),   
  • Providing clinical immunology services encompassing the assessment and management of patients with immunological conditions such as primary immunodeficiency and disorders of immune dysregulation
  • Working closely with primary care, paediatricians, and other hospital specialists to manage patients with allergic and immune-mediated disease.

Entry into Allergy and Clinical Immunology training is possible following successful completion of both a foundation programme and one of the following core training programmes:

  • Internal Medical Training (IMT) – two years
  • Acute Care Common Stem – Internal Medicine (ACCS-IM) – three years
  • Paediatrics level 1 training – three years

Details taken from the RCP website here


Project Manager for National Allergy Strategy

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