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Department of Internal Medicine
Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care, and Sleep Medicine


Patient Information

In the outpatient practice, we provide consultative care and most patients already have a general or primary care provider who is the "quarterback" for the patients' overall care. Typically patients are referred by a primary physician for a specific respiratory symptom, radiographic abnormality, or unknown disorder. The consultation maybe for ititial evaluation and diagnosis, for Pulmonary Functioning Testing (PFT), bronchoscopy, for charactization of severity and clinical course, and for initial therapy. The pulmonologist typically works closely with the patient's primary care provider. Of course, a patient does not need a formal referral by a physician to be seen in the pulmonary clinic. In general, the detailed impressions and recommendations from an initial visit is promptly shared with the referring doctor and arrangements are made regarding further care and issues of co-management. 

In a typical office visit, all prior outside records are reviewed, a detailed history and examination is obtained from the patient (and family). Typically we perform a chest x-ray and breathing measurements in the office on the initial visit (unless the patient brings a copy of recent studies). The office breathing measurements (pulmonary function studies or spirometry and other measures) are fairly simple and routine. If you are on breathing medications let your nurse know prior to the study. 

Based on the specific reason for the consultation, some patients may undergo additional testing including a bronchoscopy. This is a procedure that is performed under "conscious sedation" with a major goal to inspect the breathing tubes, obtain specimens, etc.

Schedule an Appointment

If you are a patient or family member trying to get an appointment for an outpatient visit, please call (252) 744-1600 or (800) 722-3281. We strive to have you be seen as expeditiously as possible (usually within two weeks). If you are unable to obtain an appointment within an acceptable timeframe, please contact (252) 744-4653.

Outpatient Pulmonary Disorders
Patients are seen for respiratory symptoms such as:
  • Activity intolerance
  • Allergies (seasonal or other)
  • Asthma
  • Bronchitis
  • Chest pain
  • Chronic interstitial lung disease or lung fibrosis
  • Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (COPD)
  • Cough
  • Emphysema
  • Excessive weight related to respiratory complaints
  • Lung cancer
  • Lung scarring
  • Occupational lung disease (including asbestos or coal-related respiratory problems or symptoms, or other occupational exposures)
  • Pleural disease
  • Pulmonary Alveolar Proteinosis (PAP)
  • Pulmonary hypertension
  • Pulmonary vascular disease
  • Sarcoidosis
  • Shortness of breath (or breathlessness)
  • Sleep disorders, including snoring and/or excessive sleepiness
  • Sputum production with or without blood
  • Wheezing

Tests performed include abnormal lung function measurements or abnormal chest x-rays or other imaging.
Inpatient Care

All disorders seen in the Medical Intensive Care Units (MICU), including: 

  • Acute lung injury often requiring artificial breathing support or mechanical ventilation or blood pressure support
  • Multi-organ failure
  • Pneumonia
  • Respiratory failure

We also see other hospitalized patients with respiratory issues too severe to manage in the office or at home including: 

  • Asthma
  • Emphysema
  • Lung cancer
  • Pulmonary fibrosis
  • Sarcoidosis
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