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Respiratory medicine

A career in Respiratory Medicine is hugely varied, involving the management of a multitude of clinical presentations, ranging from the acutely unwell patient with severe infection or respiratory failure, managing chronic diseases, through to understanding the pathophysiology of someone with unexplained breathlessness. Respiratory physicians care for patients spanning all age groups, from transitioning adolescents to older individuals, with a variety of acute and chronic diseases.


A career in respiratory offers diverse career options, across generalist, specialist and interventionalist options. The opportunities are as varied as the patients we see, with the Welsh Training Programme in Respiratory Medicine designed to offer the highest quality training

The programme has been designed to provide trainees with dual accreditation in both Respiratory Medicine and General Internal Medicine (GIM). Training occurs in hospitals throughout Wales, with two rotations, north and south Wales. These have been designed so you receive both broad District General Hospital (DGH) based training and exposure to specialised areas of respiratory medicine at larger centres.  Both rotations include a year of specific sub-specialist areas training, for south Wales trainees in Cardiff, for north Wales trainees in Wythenshawe hospital, Manchester.  This allows effective training in areas including Cystic Fybrosis (CF), Transplant and Pulmonary Hypertension. All trainees undergo an Intensive Therapy Unit (ITU) placement, also available in multiple centres.

Practical and interventionalist skills can be developed in all placements, including bronchoscopy, pleural USS/procedures, with opportunities to experience thoracoscopy and Endobronchial Ultrasound (EBUS).  There are interventional fellowships in both north and south Wales, which have proven popular among trainees wishing to gain this type of experience.

This breadth of training is aimed to help you gain experience in all areas of Respiratory medicine, to help you achieve your curriculum competencies, and to support your future career choices.

There is a strong focus on pastoral support, education and training across Wales, with an active specialist training committee, committed to delivering the highest quality respiratory training. Each year trainees attend two full training weeks, north Wales in the spring, and south Wales in the autumn. Each training week is very high quality, curriculum mapped, with national and international experts invited to teach. Our active trainee representatives not only help design our training, but have developed an additional all Wales Specialty Certificate Examination (SCE) preparation course. Simulation training is readily available, and actively promoted. Close collaboration with the Welsh Thoracic Society has led to their regional meeting being positioned within the training week to help promote attendance and further broaden teaching quality.

In addition to our standard rotations, we actively promote chances to enhance training with time out of programme to pursue interests in research, education, leadership, management or sub-specialist training. Multiple fellowships are available within Wales in all these areas, as well as support to explore opportunities elsewhere.

Working flexibly is an increasing wish for trainees and supported across the NHS. The Training Programme Directors (TPDs) and HEIW are supportive of flexible working and aim to make less than full time (LTFT) training available to as many eligible trainees as possible.

Wales is an excellent place to live, work and train, with a supportive group of trainees and trainers. There is an active Respiratory network with many opportunities to attend All Wales Continuing Professional Development (CPD) events, in addition to those within the programme. We welcome trainees from across the UK and beyond, with the diversity of our speciality, reflected in our workforce.

If you require any further information on respiratory training please contact HEIW or our training programme directors (see the ‘further information’ section below).