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What to Expect on Your First Visit to a Pulmonologist

If you have been referred to a pulmonologist, it is important that you keep your appointment and attend to the advised testing and treatments as directed. A pulmonologist is a specially trained physician skilled in treating pulmonary conditions, or medical conditions affecting the lungs.

Your primary physician will provide the referral for a variety of conditions for the purpose of additional treatment or diagnosis. Everything from asthma to lung cancer and other related diseases may need to special care of a pulmonologist. You should schedule an appointment for the initial check up as soon as possible. Bring a copy of your insurance card, your current list of medications including dosages, and any related medical records you have.

The pulmonologist will review your medical history and current diagnosis as advised by your physician. They will also do a complete physical examination and discuss any symptoms you current have or have experienced in the past. Some if the initial testing may include a spirometry, which is a test that determines how much oxygen is able to enter and exit the lungs. A spirometer is used while you inhale and exhale oxygen then blow into the instrument as hard as you can.

Depending on the reason for your referral, the pulmonologist may be able to provide an immediate diagnosis or course of treatment. In some cases, there may be additional testing and follow up appointments involved for proper treatment. The pulmonologist will work along with your primary care physician for ongoing care.