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Respiratory Medicine is the speciality of variety. Variety in the conditions treated, from infective, malignant, acute, and chronic; variety in your patients from the young with cystic fibrosis and pneumothorax, to the elderly with COPD and malignancy. Variety in the work from clinical to practical; and work with a whole variety of multidisciplinary team members.
  • Great communication and interpersonal skills

  • Calm in emergencies

  • Manual dexterity for practical procedures

  • Work well with other medical and non-medical team members

  • Ability to analyse and solve complex medical cases.

On average a respiratory consultant will be working from 8am till 6pm. You will usually have 2 ward rounds a week, 2-3 clinics (+/- a specialist clinic) and a bronchoscopy session per week, you will have a weekly MDT and/or radiology/pathology session as well as time for teaching commitments and administrative time within the week.
  • Respiratory is one of the most varied specialities out there, with a mixture of acute and chronic common and rare condition you won't get bored.

  • Access to a large number of investigations from lung function tests to pleural biopsies and bronchoscopies.

  • A speciality that is constantly changing with new treatments becoming available.

  • Unfortunately a large proportion of the chronic respiratory conditions with high mortality rates, such as lung cancer and COPD, which makes breaking bad news to patients and relatives a common part of the job.

  • Inpatients often require a high level of social support which often delays discharge.

Respiratory Medicine cartoon doctor
Respiratory Medicine Career Speciality Cartoon
  • Originally it was thought that blood passed into the left side of the heart from the right through small holes in the septum of the heart; this was then disproved with the discovery of the pulmonary system.
  • Tuberculosis is one of the oldest diseases we know, with DNA of Peruvian remains showing evidence of human tuberculosis as long as 6,000 years ago. Other names used for the condition used through history: Pott's disease, White Plague, Phthisis.
  • Asthma is twice as common in boys than girls, but by adulthood it is more prevalent in women than men.
Salary                         3
Competitive                4
Variety in Work           5
Work Life Balance      4
British Thoracic Society
NHS Medical Careers
Royal College of Physicians
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