Respiratory disorders account for up to one third of all emergency medical admissions and account for the second highest cause of death within the UK.

Thus, respiratory diseases are found at the hub of medical practice. Respiratory Medicine links to many other disciplines with great advances occurring in our understanding about how the lungs are affected by allergens, pathogens, organisms, occupation, pollution and diet. Those disciplines closely linked to Respiratory Medicine include Radiology, Microbiology, Immunology, Oncology and Radiotherapy, Thoracic Surgery, Intensive Care Medicine, Occupational Medicine and Genito-Urinary Medicine.

Consultants in Respiratory Medicine usually undertake General Internal Medicine as well with emergency on-call commitments, although in very specialised units some physicians will only deal with respiratory disease. 

Dr Emma Crawford - SaTH from SathKeeleMedics on Vimeo.

A usual week comprises three outpatient clinics, two ward rounds, one post-take ward round, one bronchoscopy session and one session for administration. The clinics may be designated sub-specialty clinics, for instance seeing only patients with asthma, or sleep related disease. Increasingly, clinics are being operated jointly with respiratory care nurses and lung function technicians working as a team. 

Since measurement of lung performance is fundamental to the management of respiratory disease, all consultants in Respiratory Medicine will have access to a lung function laboratory.


Essential Qualifications
In addition to MB or equivalent degree, all clinicians wishing to proceed to specialist registrar training must have MRCP or MRCPI or equivalent higher qualification. 


They must also have two years of approved SHO general medical training and previous experience in a post with a significant interest in Respiratory Medicine is desirable. Candidates for SpR posts will be expected to be ALS trained.

Personal Qualities

  • A high level of communication and interpersonal skills
  • Self-reliance and responsibility
  • Ability to recognise one's own limitations and know when to access relevant
  • Help & expertise
  • Ability to analyse and resolve complex medical problems
  • Leadership and organisational skills
  • Manual dexterity for practical procedures
  • Trainees should be innovative, motivated and disciplined