Pulmonologists have the responsibility of detecting and treating respiratory diseases. They are experts on lung diseases. They diagnose respiratory disorders, plan the course of treatment, monitor patient care, and operate on patients. These medical professionals are doctors who help improve the treatment of chronic illnesses like TB, COPD, and lung cancer.
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Overview of Pulmonology and Pulmonologist
Pulmonology is a medical science branch that studies the respiratory system and associated diseases. This medical speciality prepares professionals to diagnose and treat conditions of the trachea, lungs, bronchi, and respiratory muscles. Common respiratory conditions covered under this domain include pneumonia, asthma, tuberculosis (TB), lung cancer, pulmonary fibrosis, sleep apnea, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Individuals engaged in the study of this area of medicine are known as pulmonologists or respiratory physicians. They diagnose and treat disorders of the respiratory organs. They undergo internal medicine training to help patients with respiratory disorders breathe. A respiratory physician specialises in neoplastic, respiratory, inflammatory, and structural disorders. They are engaged in pulmonary rehabilitation and provide patient care to people struggling with shortness of breath, persistent cough, and other related disorders.
Also Read: BSc in Respiratory Therapy
How to Become a Pulmonologist in Inda?
Students with a science background in 10+2 are advised to follow these steps to start a career as a pulmonologist in India.
Step 1: Students must clear the Class 12 board exam or an equivalent exam from a recognised school or college affiliated with ICSE, CBSE, state boards, or central board. Students need to complete 10+2 in mathematics, physics, biology, and chemistry with a minimum of 60% marks or equivalent CGPA.
Step 2: Candidates must complete an MBBS (Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery) or BOT (Bachelor of Occupational Therapy) degree to become a pulmonary physician in India. Certain universities grant direct admission to undergraduate courses. However, most illustrious universities accept entrance test exams to grant admission to MBBS courses. Some of the popular MBBS entrance exams in India include the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) and Consortium of Medical, Engineering and Dental College of Karnataka (COMEDK).
Step 3: After completing MBBS, students must opt for an MD (Doctor of Medicine) degree by cracking the NEET PG, Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research Entrance Exam, Banaras Hindu University (BHU) Doctor of Medicine (MD)/Master of Surgery (MS) Entrance Test, and University of Delhi (DU) Postgraduate (PG) Medical Entrance Test.
Step 4: After clearing the exams mentioned above, students can specialise in pulmonary. They can pursue admission to DM in Pulmonology, MPT Cardiopulmonary Science, MD in Respiratory Science, and MD in Pulmonary Medicine. After completion of these courses, students can start their professional practice.
Students must possess the below-mentioned skills to succeed as a pulmonologist:
- Impressive analytical skills.
- Strong problem-solving skills.
- Exceptional communication skills.
- Eye for minute details.
- Emotional intelligence (EQ)
- Thirst to learn more.
- Interest in research.
Must Read: MD vs MBBS
Roles and Responsibilities
A pulmonary or respiratory physician is expected to perform various duties depending on the workplace, the requirements of patients, and professional experience. The basic responsibilities of respiratory physicians include the following:
- Diagnosis of respiratory diseases by conducting diagnostic examinations and analysing medical histories.
- Determine custom treatment plans for patients. The plans are inclusive of medications, different therapies, and pulmonary rehabilitation.
- Execute diagnostic tests such as thoracentesis and bronchoscopy to identify respiratory disorders.
- Work in coherence with respiratory therapists, critical care physicians, and oncologists to devise treatment plans and offer complete patient care.
- Educate patients and caretakers about treatment options severity of illnesses, and techniques of self-management.
- Conducting and engaging in research work to innovate new patient treatment techniques and improve patient care.
Best Hospitals for Pulmonologists in India
The Republic of India has a cherished legacy of doctors and is home to some of the most highly reputed pulmonary centres of the world. Given below is the list of top hospitals in India that offer patient care and treatment for people living with respiratory disorders.
- National Institute of Tuberculosis (TB) and Respiratory Diseases, Delhi
- All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS)
- Patna Medical College and Hospital (PMCH)
- Christian Medical College and Hospital (CMCH)
- Fortis Hospitals
- Apollo Hospitals
- Max Specialty Centres
- Nanavati Hospital, Maharashtra
- Sahyadri Hospital, Maharashtra
- BLK Super Specialty Hospital, Delhi
After completing MBBS and getting a specialisation in pulmonology at the master’s level, pulmonary physicians can opt for a job in public and private sector hospitals, cancer research centres, and medical colleges. They can be deputed in the role of Pulmonary Educators in medical colleges and Pulmonary Physicians or Surgeons in healthcare centres. These doctors also have the liberty to have their private practice or work as consultants with hospitals and clinics.
On average, a pulmonologist in India earns nearly INR 21 lakh per annum in India. The estimated monthly salary of these medical professionals is around INR 1.4 lakh. Pulmonary physicians with an experience of 1 to 3 years get an average salary of INR 25 lakh per annum, whereas, respiratory physicians with an experience of more than 8 years earn nearly INR 50 lakh every financial year.
Physicians need to clear NEET PG Entrance Examination to enrol in DM in Pulmonology, MPT Cardiopulmonary Science, MD in Respiratory Science, and MD in Pulmonary Medicine courses.
Pulmonary physicians and surgeons need to complete a 4-year MBBS course, 1 year of internship, and a 3-4 year residency program.
You can appear for MBBS entrance tests after the 12th and then appear for MD/MS entrance examinations to earn a specialisation in pulmonology.