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Respirologist vs. Pulmonologist — What's the Difference?

By Tayyaba Rehman — Published on September 27, 2023
Respirologist and Pulmonologist are terms that refer to medical specialists focusing on respiratory care and lung diseases. The primary difference is regional: "Respirologist" is commonly used in Canada, while "Pulmonologist" is the term used in the Unite
Respirologist vs. Pulmonologist — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Respirologist and Pulmonologist


Key Differences

A Respirologist is a medical doctor specializing in diagnosing and treating diseases of the respiratory system, including conditions like asthma, COPD, and lung cancer. Similarly, a Pulmonologist is also a medical specialist who focuses on the respiratory system and lung diseases. The practice scope for both is generally the same.
The term "Respirologist" is more commonly used in Canada and certain other Commonwealth countries. On the other hand, "Pulmonologist" is predominantly an American term and is more widely recognized in the United States. Both terms, however, are understood by medical professionals globally, although one might be more prevalent depending on the country.
Grammatically speaking, both "Respirologist" and "Pulmonologist" function as nouns and are used to describe a specific type of medical specialist. Neither term has a direct adjective form, although the areas they specialize in are called "respirology" and "pulmonology," respectively.
Both Respirologists and Pulmonologists undergo rigorous training and must complete medical school followed by specialized residency programs. Board certification is usually a subsequent step. Despite their different titles, the educational pathways for both are strikingly similar, and they both adhere to similarly high professional standards.
In terms of patient care, a Respirologist and a Pulmonologist essentially perform the same functions. They diagnose and treat respiratory issues, perform procedures like bronchoscopies, and often work in specialized respiratory care units in hospitals. Their roles in healthcare are more or less identical, save for the regional name difference.

Comparison Chart

Regional Usage

Common in Canada
Common in the U.S.


Respiratory System
Respiratory System


Functions as a Noun
Functions as a Noun

Subfield Called


Educational Path

Medical School + Residency
Medical School + Residency

Compare with Definitions


A medical specialist in respiratory care.
The Respirologist prescribed an inhaler for my asthma.


A doctor specializing in diseases of the lungs.
The Pulmonologist ruled out pneumonia through a series of tests.


A physician trained in respirology.
The Respirologist conducted a thorough examination of my lungs.


A medical specialist in the U.S. focusing on respiratory care.
The Pulmonologist recommended a spirometry test.


A doctor focusing on lung diseases.
I was referred to a Respirologist for my chronic cough.


A physician trained in pulmonology.
I'm scheduled to see a Pulmonologist next week for my lung condition.


A medical professional in Canada treating respiratory issues.
In Canada, one would consult a Respirologist for respiratory issues.


An expert in diagnosing and managing breathing disorders.
My Pulmonologist helped me manage my chronic bronchitis.


An expert in diagnosing and treating breathing disorders.
The Respirologist diagnosed me with sleep apnea.


A respiratory care medical expert in the United States.
A Pulmonologist in the U.S. often treats patients with COPD.


Synonym of pulmonologist


The branch of medicine that deals with diseases of the respiratory system.


A physician who specializes in pulmonology.

Common Curiosities

What does a Pulmonologist do?

A Pulmonologist focuses on diagnosing and treating lung and respiratory diseases.

Is a Respirologist the same as a Pulmonologist?

Yes, they are essentially the same; the terminology is regional.

Where is the term "Pulmonologist" commonly used?

The term is commonly used in the United States.

Where is the term "Respirologist" commonly used?

The term is commonly used in Canada.

Is "Respirologist" a noun or an adjective?

"Respirologist" is a noun.

Do Respirologists perform surgeries?

Generally, no. They may perform procedures like bronchoscopies but not surgeries.

Can a Respirologist prescribe medication?

Yes, a Respirologist can prescribe medication for respiratory conditions.

What does a Respirologist do?

A Respirologist specializes in diagnosing and treating respiratory disorders.

Is "Pulmonologist" a noun or an adjective?

"Pulmonologist" is a noun.

Do Pulmonologists perform surgeries?

Typically, no. They may do minor procedures but are not surgeons.

What is the field of study for a Pulmonologist?

The field of study is called pulmonology.

How long is the training for a Respirologist?

It requires medical school plus additional years of specialized residency.

How long is the training for a Pulmonologist?

It involves medical school followed by specialized residency training.

Can a Pulmonologist prescribe medication?

Yes, a Pulmonologist can prescribe medication for lung and respiratory issues.

What is the field of study for a Respirologist?

The field of study is called respirology.

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Tayyaba Rehman
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.

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