What is a pulmonologist?

A pulmonologist is a doctor who specializes in the lungs. However, there's much more to this specialty. Pulmonologists focus on the entire respiratory system, which involves not only the lungs but also the upper airways and chest. A pulmonologist is either a medical doctor (MD) or a doctor of osteopathy (DO).

Some pulmonologists specialize in certain lung diseases. Others are pediatric pulmonologists, dealing solely with the issues of children. Pulmonologists often have training in critical care medicine, along with pulmonary care. That's because they're often on the front lines of providing ventilation in the case of respiratory failure in emergency situations.