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How do we improve training in pulmonary physiology and the interpretation of lung function tests?
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  • Published on:
    Modernising scientific careers in the NHS: capacity building to improve training in pulmonary physiology and the interpretation of lung function tests.
    • Chris Ward, Senior Lecturer Newcastle University
    • Other Contributors:
      • Ian A Forrest, Consultant Physician
      • Graham Burns, Consultant Physician

    We read with interest the timely editorial by Gerrard Phillips (1), concerning the importance of providing physiological training to trainee respiratory physicians. This reviewed a French study indicating that trainees who had received an internship in a respiratory lab were substantially better at diagnosing respiratory abnormalities compared with trainees without such training. (2) Dr Phillips made a persuasive, “essential” case for an integrated understanding of respiratory physiology/pathophysiology, lung function testing and interpretation in clinical trainees.

    We strongly agree and also argue that the problem is the recognition of the importance of physiology in general, across the specialist service. We are involved in work that aims to build physiologist numbers, leadership and lab capacity, and feel this could lead to improved training for trainee doctors, as has been shown in the audit of French trainees (2). This would very much benefit from further support from colleagues and hope that the following information helps to make this case.

    In December 2015 the first NHS physiology scientist students of the new national NHS Masters in Respiratory medicine graduated from Newcastle University. This course is part of the national Modernising Scientific Careers (MSC) program in the NHS. The respiratory teaching faculty is consultant led, with delivery in hospital clinical teaching facilities.

    Modernising scientific careers (MSC) is a UK wide initia...

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    Conflict of Interest:
    None declared.