Academics and Research

Exterior view of Rush Tower building
Subspecialty clinics & electives

Severe Asthma

The Rush Sinus, Allergy and Asthma Center brings together specialists from pulmonology, allergy/immunology, laryngology, rhinology and sleep medicine to provide care for patients who have co-existing asthma, sinus disease, allergies and/or sleep apnea. The group works to provide a comprehensive and coordinated approach to the care of patients with overlapping disease processes. The severe asthma patients are managed by the pulmonary and allergy teams. Once the diagnosis of severe asthma is confirmed and comorbidities are addressed, a personalized treatment plan is developed, including evaluation for biologic therapies.

Cystic Fibrosis

The Rush Cystic Fibrosis Center is a multidisciplinary adult and pediatric clinic accredited by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Disciplines that comprise the team include respiratory therapy, nutrition, social work, psychology, pharmacy and nursing, who work together with the physicians and nurse practitioners. Our team has been involved in national quality improvement initiatives through the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, with opportunities for fellow participation. We partner closely with the Loyola Lung Transplant program for the majority of our transplant referrals and have had several successful transplants over the past several years. Clinic sessions typically occur twice a month, with one fellow in attendance. This experience is truly interprofessional, as patients are often seen by multiple clinicians during each visit, tailored to their individual needs. Fellows will learn to collaborate with the multidisciplinary team to optimize outpatient and inpatient care for our panel of patients, and learn the unique aspects of managing a genetic disorder with targeted genetic therapies.

Pulmonary Hypertension

Rotating through this service provides focused exposure to the pulmonary hypertension patient population. It includes both inpatient and outpatient exposure. On the inpatient side, fellows will be involved in performing and interpreting procedures employed in the diagnosis and treatment of these patients including right heart catheterizations and echocardiography. The inpatient service functions as a separate consult service with the fellow and pulmonary hypertension attending who see patients with some form of pulmonary vascular disease admitted to general floors or the intensive care units. They are also expected to participate in weekly pulmonary hypertension clinics that provides initial evaluation, education, and continuing treatment and medication titration of patients with pulmonary hypertension.

Interventional Pulmonary

Second and third year fellows have the opportunity to rotate through Interventional Pulmonary each year. The focus of this rotation is mix of inpatient and outpatient advanced bronchoscopic and IP procedures. At the end of their training, fellows are capable of performing various procedures independently such as EBUS and indwelling pleural catheter placement.

Interstitial Lung Disease

The Rush ILD Program features a team with experience in diagnosing and treating patients with various diseases that result in pulmonary fibrosis, including idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and sarcoidosis. Our program serves over 500 patients, including over 100 new consultations, annually. Each new patient is discussed in our multidisciplinary ILD conference which includes chest radiology, pathology, and rheumatology. We are able to offer our patients the opportunity to participate in clinical trials of promising new treatments and host a pulmonary fibrosis support group for patients in the Chicagoland area. We additionally have several collaborators within Rush involved in ongoing pulmonary fibrosis research projects.

Procedural training


The beginning of first year is focused on having the fellows master basic procedural techniques as well as make the transition from a resident to acting more as a specialist in the ICU and consultant for Pulmonary. First year fellows also participate in a national ultrasound course their first month of fellowship so that they can have a hands-on didactic experience prior to bedside teaching and application on actual patients.

Second and third year fellows carry the knowledge and experience they learned during their first year and apply it in more the role of a junior attending and educator as a senior fellows.

Fellows will have their own continuity clinics where they have their individual patient templates with whom they will maintain continuity throughout their three years of fellowship.

By the end of their training, fellows will not only have had the chance to master common Pulmonary/Critical Care procedures, but will also have had the opportunity to gain experience with more advanced and specialized procedures including:

  • Right Heart Catheterization
  • Endobronchial Ultrasound (EBUS)
  • Radial Ultrasound
  • Navigational Bronchoscopy
  • Cryobiopsy/Cryoextraction
  • Argon Plasma Coagulation (APC)
  • Airway Balloon Dilation
  • Various pleural procedures including indwelling pleural catheters
  • Tracheostomy Placement
Research opportunities

The division’s annual research conference occurs at the beginning of each academic year. During this session, faculty members discuss their research projects while fellows are given the opportunity to explore their interests and ask further questions. This allows fellows to seek out a mentor early in their training. Fellows present their research projects at one of the annual pulmonary conferences, CHEST or the American Thoracic Society (ATS) Conference.

Also, each fellow completes a quality improvement project which is presented at the Rush Safety and Quality Fair.

Those pursuing clinical research are encouraged to participate in the Rush’s Master of Science in Clinical Research program. This two-year, thesis-requiring graduate program trains health care professionals to perform and evaluate clinical research and prepares you to successfully apply for a National Institutes of Health K Award. A year of didactic lectures is followed by a year of mentored clinical research.

Academic conferences

Fellows and faculty participate in two weekly conferences which are shared with the Pulmonary Department at Cook Country Stroger Hospital. In addition, there are various other conferences that occur on a bi-weekly or monthly basis.

  • Core Curriculum Conference
  • Clinical Case Conference
  • Journal Club
  • ILD Conference
  • Respiratory Physiology Conference
  • Palliative Care Conference
  • Morbidity & Mortality Conference
  • Med/Surg Morbidity Mortality (multi-disciplinary)
  • Critical Care Pharmacy Conference
  • Ultrasound Conference
Combined three-year Pulmonary/CC/Sleep Fellowship

Rush is proud to be one of only a few programs nationwide (and the only one in Chicago) offering a combined three-year ACGME accredited fellowship to include pulmonary, critical care and sleep fellowships. For more information please visit our Sleep Medicine website.

Sleep Disorders

The Rush Sleep Disorders Service and Research Center provides a strong clinical, educational and research platform within the Pulmonary and Critical Care Division. The Sleep Medicine Department houses the Sleep Medicine Fellowship. With over 8,000 visits per year, 2 sleep laboratories with ability to perform complex studies (advanced titrations, transcutaneous pCO2, extended EEG, transtracheal flow), and a strong inpatient and outpatient sleep screen program, trainees have exposure to the entire gamut of Sleep Disorders. Our faculty are experts in management of COPD-OSA overlap, respiratory failure, non-invasive ventilation, assessment of tracheostomy dependency prior to decannulation, obesity hypoventilation, central sleep apneas syndromes, and hypoglossal nerve stimulation. Trainees will familiarize with positive airway pressure delivery technologies and tele-health/remote data monitoring. Upon graduation, PCCM fellows will be confident in the knowledge of Sleep Medicine in anticipation for ABIM Boards and for independent practice/management of sleep disorders.

Medical education

The faculty and the fellows of the division are involved with educational initiatives throughout the university. This includes structured teaching in the medical school but also offers opportunities for interdisciplinary involvement with other departments including respiratory therapy, advanced practice providers and clinical nutrition.

In addition to teaching students throughout the medical center, our division is significantly involved with the training of our medicine residents. Our pulmonary and critical care rotations are consistently among the highest rated by the medicine house staff. With the assistance of faculty members, fellows with an interest in medical education have worked to develop a standardized intensive care unit curriculum and ultrasound curriculum for the residents. Current fellows are developing a pulmonary curriculum for the inpatient rotation and outpatient clinics.

In addition, the Office of Mentoring Programs within Faculty Affairs offers a teaching excellence course to faculty and fellows who engage in educational scholarly activities.