The Respiratory System

  • Jonathan E. Rodnick
  • James K. Gude


Because of the frequency of respiratory problems, family physicians must be knowledgeable in their diagnosis and treatment. In the now classic Virginia study,1 diseases of the respiratory system constituted the greatest number of problems seen compared to other diagnostic categories. In a review of 3 years of data and more than 120,000 visits to our Family Practice Center at the Community Hospital of Sonoma County (California), we found that 13.0% of the encounters were for respiratory problems (exclusive of ear/sinus disorders). According to estimates from the National Ambulatory Care Survey in 1981, respiratory problems accounted for 17.7% of all visits to general and family physicians and 12.5% of visits to all physicians.2 Table 17.1 shows the frequency rank of common respiratory problems compared to all problems seen by family physicians from four epidemiologic studies. Each number represents the rank of how frequently respiratory problems are encountered, e.g. acute bronchitis was the fifth most common problem (of all diagnoses) seen by Virginia family physicians. The braces indicate where the study combined diagnoses. Although the data come from different populations and may use different diagnostic categories, the message is clear: These problems are commonly encountered by family physicians.


Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Pulmonary Embolism Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Patient Interstitial Lung Disease Family Physician 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jonathan E. Rodnick
  • James K. Gude

There are no affiliations available

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