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A welcome message from the interim chief

Dr. Richard A. Lee, interim chief of the Division of Pulmonary Diseases and Critical Care Medicine.
UCI Health Communications
Dr. Richard A. Lee, interim chief of the Division of Pulmonary Diseases and Critical Care Medicine.

The Division of Pulmonary Diseases and Critical Care Medicine at the UCI School of Medicine is committed to providing quality care for patients with a broad range of lung diseases and conditions through clinical training, research and educational programs. 

Our faculty members are recognized experts in interventional pulmonary medicine and in the diagnosis and treatment of complex airway problems. In fact, five of our nine faculty members — including one of the world leaders in this field of medicine — have been specially trained in interventional pulmonary medicine. Few pulmonary medicine training programs in the United States offer this level of expertise.

At UCI Medical Center, we deliver state-of-the-art care to patients who have pulmonary disease or critical illness, including pleural diseases, malignant mesothelioma, asthma, chronic bronchitis and cough, emphysema, lung cancer, pneumonia, and tuberculosis.

Our pulmonary and critical care specialists also run the intensive care units at the VA Long Beach Healthcare System. And our fellows rotate through the intensive care unit at Long Beach Memorial Medical Center. These settings give our fellows, residents, and medical students valuable experience in treating a wide variety of patients and conditions.

Our residents and medical students are exposed to advanced scientific research in pulmonary and critical care medicine. We receive significant funding, primarily from the Veterans Affairs merit program, California’s tobacco-related disease research program, the National Institutes of Health and the Department of Defense.

In one study, for example, we’re investigating potential cures for mass casualty cyanide poisoning. At the VA in Long Beach, we are conducting advanced physiological studies on diaphragm function in patients on ventilators. We have a number of clinical research projects relating to interventional pulmonary medicine and new methods for teaching physicians interventional procedures. We also have an active sleep lab program at the VA hospital for research and clinical care.

Residents, fellows, and medical students may also participate in translational research studies with the UCI Health Beckman Laser Institute to develop new technology and therapies for a variety of pulmonary and critical care disorders. This extraordinary collaboration enables our pulmonary disease and critical care clinicians and researchers to conduct studies using the most advanced laser technologies. 

We provide our medical students and residents with superb educational experiences, including interventional Web site training in bronchoscopy. These individual learning programs, which have been validated for bronchoscopy education, have been translated into a number of languages and are open to everyone. 

In addition to providing our patients with the highest quality care possible, we strive to nurture innovation and recruit the finest physicians and students. Our goal is to advance technological developments and treatment methods that will ultimately improve patients’ lung health and caregiver education.