Giving Care

Getting to Know Your Treatment Team

Knowing your treatment team and the roles they play can help you as you navigate the COPD treatment process. Get to know some of the professionals who may make up your treatment team below.


Primary Care Physician (PCP)

  • A general doctor, typically not a specialist in any one field of medicine, but can diagnose and treat your loved one
  • The first place to turn for information on caring for COPD
  • A PCP may refer your loved one to a more specialized physician such as a pulmonologist
environmental factors


  • A doctor who specializes in treating respiratory diseases such as COPD
  • Your loved one may be referred to a pulmonologist to receive more specialized care
  • Pulmonologists commonly treat tuberculosis, emphysema, asthma, and other more complicated conditions
genetic factors


  • Frequently the first person you’ll see in the doctor’s office or hospital
  • May be focused on primary practice or specialized in one field of medicine
  • Some advanced practice nurses, like nurse practitioners, are also licensed to prescribe medication
  • Can be a reliable source of information
  • Can relay information to the doctor if you’re unable to speak with him or her
patient history


  • Provides prescribed medication at a pharmacy
  • Very familiar with a broad range of prescription and non-prescription medications and medical equipment
  • Can provide instruction on how to take medication or how to use medical equipment
  • Can advise you on whether an over-the-counter medication will adversely interact with your loved one’s prescription medications or if it will badly affect another health condition

Stay Informed

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