Working life (immunology)

This page provides useful information about the roles and responsibilities of immunologists, where they work, who they work with and what they feel about their role.

“I’m fascinated by immunology because inflammation and the appropriate resolution of inflammation are of enormous importance in such a wide diversity of human physiological and pathological processes, from autoimmunity and infection to development and ageing. Understanding these concepts helps us better understand clinical medicine, develop new interventions and ultimately care for patients more effectively.”  Medical student.

How your time is spent

A typical day in the life of a clinical immunologist is likely to begin with a clinic of 5-10 patients in one of the following:

The rest of the day is usually spent interpreting and discussing interesting laboratory results with clinical colleagues, attending clinical meetings and teaching. Clinical work is predominantly outpatient based, with a frequent need to provide opinions on inpatients.

On call and working hours

Immunologists generally work a  from Monday-Friday traditional working day pattern, from 8.30 am or 9.00 am to around  5.00pm or 6 pm.  At present they often provide out of hours telephone advice to doctors.

There is an increasing demand for extended out of hours support (both laboratory and clinical) and so the demands for irregular working hours could change.

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