Introduction Knowledge of pulmonary function test (PFT) is essential for every respiratory physician. The level of training and exposure to PFT varies depending on the local facilities, supervisors and the respiratory trainees themselves. Moreover in recently cardio-pulmonary exercise testing (CPET) are becoming more widely available as well.
To test the knowledge of UK respiratory physicians (trainees mainly) on PFT and CPET, identifying what is available locally.
The level of exposure to the tests themselves in terms of how to perform, the process involved and the equipment used/ available locally.
Methodology An electronic survey was distributed to the UK postgraduate deaneries for all the respiratory trainees and also to some respiratory physicians, thoracic surgeons and lung function physiologists. Feedback was collected anonymously over a period of 6 months (Dec 2012–May 2013). The questions ranged from simple spirometry, PFT, CPET and basic demographics.
Results A total of 160 responses were obtained from 16 deaneries out of 20 [1 from outside the UK - OOPE]. 83 (53%) were respiratory specialist/specialty registrars and 61(39%) consultants.
2 respondents had never seen spirometry performed, and 28 (18%) have not seen a PFT performed. Only ¼ have done a PFT themselves. 70% have seen CPET, 29% have done CPET, 75% have a CPET service locally with cycle ergometer (66%) being the most common method to exercise the patient. Respiratory physiologists and respiratory physicians are the ones mainly reporting CPET results with anaesthetist a distant third.
Summary Most trainees have been exposed to spirometry but based on this survey almost 20% have yet to see a PFT performed. Understanding the process of how to do a PFT and CPET, experiencing it personally could influence the number of PFT requests. This aspect of respiratory specialty training is still insufficient based on the feedback of respiratory trainees who answered this survey.