FAQs about Pulmonology

Pulmonology is a term that few civilians use when describing respiratory problems. Most patients seek help from their family physician when they find it difficult to breathe on a daily basis. A pulmonologist, however, is the best specialist to find in instances of irregular respiratory operation because he administers medication that is tailor-made for the situation. Here are a few more facts about the field of pulmonology in Las Vegas and the United States.

What is Pulmonology?
Pulmonology can be considered a branch of internal medicine that solely deals with respiratory treatment. The specialty is often referred to as one of chest medicine, since much of what pulmonologists do involves nursing the upper-respiratory system.

Who Visits a Pulmonologist?
Individuals battling with pneumonia, tuberculosis and asthma are the primary patients who seek treatment from a pulmonologist. Individuals suffering from emphysema also visit these specialists.

While the above cases are the norm, there are instances where individuals who do not struggle with chronic respiratory illnesses make appointments to visit their local pulmonologist. In particular, patients with bad cases of influenza sometimes find themselves being treated by a pulmonolgist after the virus occupies their lungs to the point of causing abnormal breathing. Pulmonology in Las Vegas and throughout the United States is oftentimes an overlooked field, yet it contributes so much to the healthcare industry.

How Are Pulmonologists Trained?
Pulmonologists are medical doctors who specialize in respiratory care. They undergo the same kind of rigorous training that a family physician endures before obtaining his license.

Contrary to family physicians who may complete residency in an emergency room, though, pulmonologists typically remain in the internal medicine department of a hospital. This is not to say that such doctors never get an inside look at the ER. In fact, most pulmonologists will see some sort of trauma before their residency has concluded.

Upon graduation from medical school, the pulmonologist holds either an M.D. or D.O. title. Whereas the M.D. label is the typical medical doctor title, D.O. refers to a doctor of osteopathic medicine. Both physicians are trained and capable of caring for pulmonology patients.

Is a Degree Enough for Pulmonologists to Practice?
No. Individuals hoping to work in the field must pass the Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Examination (COMLEX). The test is administered by the National Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners, and is usually administered throughout training instead in one lump sum. Medical students also have the option of taking the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE). This test is given to both M.D. and D.O. students. COMPLEX is only administered to D.O. graduates.

How Are These Doctors Regulated?
Just like any other doctor, pulmonologists can be sued for malpractice and stripped of their licensure in the instance of unethical practices. In addition, acts that lead to a patient’s death can also lead to criminal charges filed against the pulmonologist. While due process is necessary in every instance of accusation, there have been instances where the physician was held responsible for the patient’s death due to improper care. It is, therefore, important for those working in the field to work hard yet meticulously to ensure safety and overall health.

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