Clinical immunology involves the management of patients with disorders of the immune system.
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Entry Route into Clinical Immunology
Applicants must have completed the two-year Foundation Programme before being eligible to apply for core training. There are two pathways to choose from:
Trainees should also be full members of the Royal College of Physicians before they apply for higher speciality training at ST3.
Job Progression as a Clinical Immunologist
Higher speciality training takes at least four years, but the Speciality Advisory Committee advises that trainees need five years in order to achieve all the competencies set out in the curriculum.
Trainees can apply for consultant positions six months before obtaining their CCT, and there are opportunities to work in management as a clinical lead, or a clinical or medical director. There are also formal opportunities to become involved in the education and training of junior doctors by working as
- a director of medical education overseeing postgraduate medical training,
- a training programme director responsible for the education of trainee doctors in the local region, or
- an associate dean responsible for managing the training programme.
Academic Clinical Immunology Roles
Trainees interested in an academic career can apply for an academic clinical fellowship. Alternatively, trainees can continue the ST clinical training programme after ST4 level.
Competition for Clinical Immunology Posts
In 2017, the competition ratio at ST3 was 2.8 in the first round, with 11 applications for 4 NTN posts, with 9% of applicants applying for Immunology only. In the second round, the competition ratio was 1.7, with 5 applications for 2 NTN posts and 1 LAT post.
In December 2017, there were
- 73 consultants,
- 1 associate specialist,
- 2 speciality doctors,
- 39 speciality registrars,
- 1 core trainee,
- 4 F2 trainees, and
- 1 F1 trainee.
Salaries in Clinical Immunology
The starting salary for junior doctors in England ranges from £26,614 to £46,208, from £37,923 to £87,521 for speciality doctors, and consultants can expect to earn between £76,761 and £103,490. There are additional supplements for on-call work, antisocial hours, and other commitments and situations. For additional information, please check our page on pay scales.
A Day in the Life of a Clinical Immunologist
For the most part, clinic immunologists work in outpatient departments. In addition to running clinics for new and established patients they may also run joint clinics with other specialists, such as rheumatologists, in addition to interpreting laboratory results, teaching, and providing advice to other specialists.
There is little on-call work although there is an out-of-hours telephone advice service for doctors. However, there is an increasing demand for more out-of-hours support – both clinical and laboratory support – so the requirement for on-call work could change.