17 Pulmonologist Interview Questions and Answers

Learn what skills and qualities interviewers are looking for from a pulmonologist, what questions you can expect, and how you should go about answering them.

Pulmonologists are medical doctors who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of lung diseases and disorders. As a pulmonologist, you’ll need to have excellent communication skills to explain complex medical concepts to patients and their families. You’ll also need to be able to work well under pressure, as you’ll often be dealing with life-threatening conditions.

If you’re applying for a pulmonologist job, you can expect to be asked a variety of questions in your interview. These questions will assess your knowledge of lung diseases, your ability to communicate with patients, and your ability to work under pressure. We’ve compiled a list of sample pulmonologist interview questions and answers to help you prepare for your interview.

Are you board certified in pulmonology?

The interviewer may ask this question to determine if you have the necessary qualifications for the position. If you are not board certified, explain what steps you took to achieve certification and when you plan to take the exam.

Example: “I am currently working toward my certification in pulmonology. I started taking the required exams last year and hope to finish by next year. In addition to studying for the exam, I’ve been actively practicing as a pulmonologist at my current hospital. This experience has helped me develop my skills and knowledge of the field.”

What are the signs and symptoms of pneumonia?

The interviewer may ask this question to assess your diagnostic skills. In your answer, you can list the signs and symptoms of pneumonia and explain how you would use them to make a diagnosis. You can also mention any other conditions that have similar symptoms to show your knowledge of differential diagnoses.

Example: “Pneumonia is an infection in one or both lungs that causes inflammation. The most common symptom of pneumonia is shortness of breath, which usually worsens at night. Other symptoms include fever, chills, fatigue, chest pain, cough and loss of appetite. If I see these symptoms in a patient, I will perform a physical exam and order lab tests and imaging studies to confirm my diagnosis.”

How would you treat a patient with severe asthma who is having an attack?

This question can help the interviewer assess your ability to make decisions and apply critical thinking skills in a clinical setting. Use examples from past experiences to highlight your problem-solving, communication and interpersonal skills.

Example: “I would first ask my patient what their current treatment plan is and how they feel about it. I would then perform an examination to determine if there are any changes that need to be made to their current treatment plan. If not, I would prescribe medication based on the severity of the attack. If the patient’s condition requires hospitalization, I would refer them to the appropriate facility for further care.”

What is the difference between asthma and COPD?

Pulmonologists treat a variety of respiratory conditions, including asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). These two conditions are often confused by patients because they both involve breathing difficulties. Your answer should show the interviewer that you can clearly differentiate between these two conditions and explain how each one is treated.

Example: “Asthma and COPD are different diseases with different causes and symptoms. Asthma is an inflammatory condition that affects the airways, while COPD is caused by long-term exposure to irritants in the air. In my experience as a pulmonologist, I have found it helpful to educate patients about their diagnosis so they understand what’s causing their symptoms and know what treatment options are available.”

Provide an example of a time when you provided patient education that improved a patient’s condition.

Patient education is an important part of a pulmonologist’s job. The interviewer wants to know that you can effectively communicate with patients and their families about the patient’s condition, treatment plan and prognosis.

Example: “I had a patient who was diagnosed with asthma as a child. As an adult, he continued to experience symptoms like shortness of breath and coughing. He came in for a checkup and I explained how his diagnosis of asthma as a child did not mean he would have the same symptoms throughout his life. I also discussed the importance of avoiding triggers such as dust and pollen. After our discussion, he understood that his current symptoms were likely due to exposure to these triggers. He agreed to avoid them and return for another checkup after two weeks. At his next appointment, he reported no further symptoms.”

If a patient has a lung cancer diagnosis, what treatment options would you recommend?

This question can help the interviewer determine how you apply your medical knowledge to patient care. Use examples from your experience that highlight your critical thinking skills and ability to make decisions based on evidence-based medicine.

Example: “I would recommend a treatment plan that is tailored to each individual’s needs, including their age, overall health and preferences. For example, I recently worked with a patient who was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer. He had several other chronic conditions, so we decided to focus on treating his symptoms rather than aggressively pursuing chemotherapy or radiation treatments. Instead, he opted for palliative care, which helped him manage his pain and improve his quality of life.”

What would you do if a patient refused to take a medication you prescribed?

This question can help the interviewer determine how you handle conflict and whether you have strategies for overcoming challenges. In your answer, try to highlight your ability to communicate effectively with patients and develop a plan that helps them understand why they need to take their medication.

Example: “If a patient refused to take a prescribed medication, I would first ask them why they don’t want to take it. If they are refusing because of side effects, I would explain that these side effects should only last a few days and that taking the medication is important for their overall health. If they still refuse, I would encourage them to discuss alternative treatment options with me.”

How well do you understand the use of breathing treatments and inhalers?

The interviewer may ask this question to assess your knowledge of the different types of treatments available for patients with respiratory conditions. Use examples from your experience that show you understand how these treatments work and when they’re most effective.

Example: “I have extensive experience using breathing treatments and inhalers in my practice, as I’ve worked with many patients who need them. In my last role, I had a patient who was having trouble using their inhaler because it would clog up after only one use. I showed them how to clean the device so they could continue using it without any issues. This helped them manage their asthma more effectively.”

Do you have experience working with patients who have severe allergies?

The interviewer may ask this question to assess your experience working with patients who have severe allergies and how you manage their care. Use examples from past experiences in which you helped a patient overcome an allergy or managed the symptoms of a severe allergy.

Example: “I once had a patient who came into my office because they were experiencing shortness of breath, wheezing and coughing due to a severe peanut allergy. I asked them about what caused these symptoms and learned that they ate at a restaurant where they accidentally consumed peanuts. After speaking with them further, we determined that they needed to be admitted to the hospital for treatment.

In the hospital, I worked with the patient to develop a plan to avoid future allergic reactions. We decided on a strict diet that would prevent them from consuming any foods containing peanuts. They also agreed to carry an epinephrine pen with them at all times.”

When consulting with a patient, how do you maintain a calm and reassuring demeanor?

Interviewers may ask this question to assess your interpersonal skills and ability to calm patients’ fears. When answering, it can be helpful to mention a specific example of how you used these skills in the past.

Example: “When I meet with a patient for the first time, I always make sure to introduce myself and shake their hand. This helps me get to know them better and makes them feel more comfortable. If they are nervous or anxious about their diagnosis, I try to reassure them that we will work together to find the best treatment plan. In my last role, I had a patient who was very scared about her diagnosis. She asked me many questions about what she could expect from treatment and how long it would take to see results. I answered all of her questions as thoroughly as possible and told her that I would do everything in my power to help her.”

We want to improve our outreach to local communities. How would you promote our practice to local residents?

As a pulmonologist, you may be responsible for promoting your practice to the public. Employers ask this question to make sure you have experience with marketing and outreach campaigns. In your answer, share two or three ideas of how you would promote your employer’s practice. Explain why these strategies are effective at reaching new patients.

Example: “I think one of the best ways to reach out to local residents is through social media. I would create an account on Instagram where we could post photos of our office and staff members. This platform is great because it allows us to show off our beautiful facility while also providing valuable information about lung health. Another way I would do this is by creating a blog that offers free advice on common respiratory issues.”

Describe your process for reviewing a patient’s medical history and performing a physical examination.

The interviewer may ask you this question to gain insight into your diagnostic skills and how you approach a patient’s care. Your answer should include specific examples of the steps you take when reviewing medical history and performing physical examinations.

Example: “I begin by reading through my patients’ medical histories, which I keep in an electronic database. This allows me to quickly search for information about their past diagnoses, medications and test results. Once I have reviewed the medical history, I perform a thorough physical examination that includes listening to the patient’s lungs with a stethoscope, checking their blood pressure and temperature and examining their skin color and texture.”

What makes you stand out from other pulmonologists?

Employers ask this question to learn more about your qualifications and how you compare to other candidates. When answering, it can be helpful to mention a specific skill or experience that makes you unique from the rest of the field. You can also use this opportunity to highlight any certifications you have earned.

Example: “I think what sets me apart from other pulmonologists is my ability to communicate with patients in an easy-to-understand way. I always make sure to explain medical terms in layman’s terms so that patients understand their diagnosis and treatment plan. Another thing that makes me stand out is my dedication to continuing education. I am currently enrolled in several online courses to keep up with the latest research and technology.”

Which medical software programs are you familiar with for documenting patient information and completing paperwork?

The interviewer may ask this question to determine your computer skills and how you use medical software programs. Use your answer to highlight your knowledge of the specific program used by the hospital or clinic where you’re interviewing.

Example: “I am familiar with several different types of medical software, including EpicCare, Cerner Millennium and McKesson Horizon. I find these programs easy to navigate for documenting patient information and completing paperwork. In my last role as a pulmonologist, we used EpicCare for our electronic health record system. I found it helpful to have all of my patients’ records in one place so that I could easily access them when needed.”

What do you think is the most important aspect of your job as a pulmonologist?

This question can help the interviewer get a better idea of your priorities and how you would approach this role. Your answer should reflect your understanding of what pulmonologists do, as well as your personal values.

Example: “The most important aspect of my job is helping patients feel comfortable with their treatment plan. I know that many people are nervous about visiting the doctor, so I always try to make sure they understand everything we’re doing and why. I also think it’s important to be honest with patients when there are challenges or setbacks in their care. It’s helpful for them to know exactly what to expect and when to expect it.”

How often do you update your knowledge of medical developments in pulmonology?

The interviewer may ask this question to assess your commitment to continuing education. Your answer should show that you are dedicated to keeping up with the latest developments in your field and how you plan to apply new knowledge to your work as a pulmonologist.

Example: “I am committed to lifelong learning, so I regularly attend conferences and seminars on current research in my field. In addition, I subscribe to several medical journals and online publications where I can read about recent advances in medicine. I also use social media to connect with other professionals who share their insights through blogs and videos. These resources help me stay informed of the most recent developments in the industry.”

There is a new treatment for lung cancer that has a 60% success rate. Would you recommend it to a patient? Why or why not?

This question is a great way to test your critical thinking skills and ability to make tough decisions. It also shows the interviewer how you would interact with patients who may be facing difficult treatment options.

Example: “I would recommend this treatment if it was the only option available, but I would try my best to find other treatments that could help them live longer or improve their quality of life. If they were adamant about trying this new treatment, I would explain all the risks and benefits so they understood what they were getting into. I would also ensure they had someone by their side during the entire process.”


17 Astrophysicist Interview Questions and Answers

Back to Interview

17 Land Acquisition Manager Interview Questions and Answers