Internist/Family Practice Physician

If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms of COPD, you should make an appointment with your primary healthcare provider—an internist or a family practice physician—who will play a primary role in diagnosis and management of COPD.

If your primary care provider determines that you do in fact have COPD, he or she will most likely prescribe medication to help control your COPD symptoms.


Your internist or family practice physician may also refer you to a pulmonologist, a specialist who deals with conditions of the lungs and respiratory tract. Pulmonologists complete an additional two or three years of training in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of lung and respiratory problems. A pulmonologist is adept at treating COPD as well as other serious respiratory conditions such as asthma, pneumonia, and emphysema, among others.

Respiratory Therapist

While not physicians, respiratory therapists are specially trained healthcare professionals who work with patients to help treat airway and breathing problems caused by asthma. They may guide you through breathing treatments and exercises to help restore function to your respiratory system.