Pulmonary Physician

Help patients with problems related to their lungs or airways.
picture of Pulmonary Physician

Quick Stats


Salary Range
~ $180,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Pulmonary Physicians do?

To stay alive, people must breathe. For some people, breathing is effortless. For people with asthma, lung cancer, or emphysema, however, it can be difficult. A Pulmonary Physician helps these patients by providing treatments and medical advice to open airways and make breathing easier.

When you’re a Pulmonary Physician, you start a patient consultation with a detailed examination of your patient. They may have blue fingertips, harsh sounds in their lungs, or bumps in their chest that you can feel with your fingers.

When a symptom is spotted by the Pulmonary Physician, it is written down on their chart. Then you ask them to submit to extra testing, such as x-rays, blood tests, CT scans, or breathing tests. When the results come back, you look them over.

Some patients benefit from medications that you prescribe, and you teach them how to take the medications properly. You also ask them to come for follow-up appointments so you can make sure the medications are working.

Other patients may need surgery to remove lung tumors, and you refer them to Pulmonary Surgeons for their procedures. These patients may also need to see an Oncologist for cancer treatments. Whenever you refer a patient to another Doctor, you stay involved by checking in with them and reading reports from the other Doctor. Sometimes, you provide additional medications or treatments to complement the work the other Doctor is performing.

When you’re a Pulmonary Physician, many of your patients smoke, and you do all you can to help them quit. You refer them to counseling groups, and you ask their Doctors to provide stop-smoking prescriptions. When you see youngsters smoking outside your office, you pelt them with stop-smoking pamphlets.

Should I be a Pulmonary Physician?

You should have a doctoral degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Levelheaded: You hold your emotions in check, even in tough situations.
  • Logical Thinker: You take a step-by-step approach to analyze information and solve problems.
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.

  • Also known as: Primary Care Physician

    How to become a Pulmonary Physician

    Most Pulmonary Physicians have a Doctorate. Start by getting your Bachelor's degree. Chart?chd=s:agaaa9&chl=|certificate+%289%25%29||||doctorate+%2891%25%29&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,0,91
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