Preparing for your appointment

If your primary care doctor suspects a serious lung problem, you're likely to be referred to a pulmonologist, a doctor who specializes in lung disorders.

What you can do

Before your appointment, you might want to write a list that answers the following questions:

  • What are your symptoms and when did they start?
  • Are you receiving treatment for any other medical conditions?
  • What medications and supplements have you taken in the past five years?
  • Do you smoke? If so, how much and for how long?
  • What are all the occupations you've ever had, even if only for a few months?
  • Do any members of your family have a chronic lung disease of any kind?
  • Have you ever received chemotherapy or radiation treatments for cancer?
  • Do you have any other medical conditions, especially arthritis?

You might also want to have a friend or family member accompany you to the appointment. Pulmonary fibrosis is a serious and complex disease. A friend or family member can provide emotional support and help remember information that you may have forgotten or missed. It is OK to take some notes.

Sept. 23, 2016
  1. What is idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis? National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Accessed June 22, 2016.
  2. Ferri FF. Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. In: Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2016. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2016. Accessed April 13, 2016.
  3. Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Merck Manual Professional Version. Accessed May 3, 2016.
  4. King TE. Approach to the adult with interstitial lung disease: Clinical evaluation. Accessed April 13, 2016.
  5. King TE. Approach to the adult with interstitial lung disease: Diagnostic testing. Accessed April 13, 2016.
  6. What is pulmonary hypertension? National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Accessed June 9, 2016.
  7. Klings ES. Cor pulmonale. Accessed June 9, 2016.
  8. King TE. Role of lung biopsy in the diagnosis of interstitial lung disease. Accessed June 9, 2016.
  9. Islam S. Flexible bronchoscopy in adults: Preparation, procedural technique, and complications. Accessed June 9, 2016.
  10. King TE. Treatment of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Accessed April 13, 2016.
  11. Raghu G, et al. An Official ATS/ERS/JRS/ALAT clinical practice guideline: Treatment of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. An Update of the 2011 clinical practice guideline. American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. 2015;192:e3.
  12. Ryu JH, et al. Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis: Evolving concepts. Mayo Clinic Proceedings. 2014;89:1130.
  13. Barbara Woodward Lips Patient Education Center. Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2005.
  14. Puglisi S, et al. New perspectives on management of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Therapeutic Advances in Chronic Disease. 2016;7:108.
  15. Lake FR. Interstitial lung disease in rheumatoid arthritis. Accessed June 15, 2016.
  16. Riggin EA. Allscripts EPSi. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. April 11, 2016.
  17. Meining A. Confocal laser endomicroscopy and endocytoscopy. Accessed June 14, 2016.
  18. Wellikoff A, et al. Probe-based confocal laser endomicroscopy imaging of interstitial lung disease. American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. 2013;187:A5796.
  19. Yserbyt J, et al. Perspectives using probe-based confocal laser endomicroscopy of the respiratory tract. Swiss Medical Weekly. 2013;143:w13764.
  20. Scott JP (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. July 21, 2016.
  21. Walsh SL, et al. Interobserver agreement for the ATS/ERS/JRS/ALAT criteria for a UIP pattern on CT. Thorax. 2016;71:45.
  22. Sista RR (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Scottsdale, Arizona. July 22, 2016.