Respiratory medicine is a varied, exciting and challenging specialty. 

It is concerned with the diagnosis, treatment and continuing care of adults of all ages with a wide range of respiratory and related conditions.

The respiratory specialist is at the forefront of the hospital acute services including intensive care, and at the same time cares for a large group of people with a variety of chronic disorders, including both in- and out-patients.

Respiratory medicine - trainee characteristics

Respiratory medicine will particularly suit trainees who:

  • are highly motivated and enthusiastic

  • enjoy dealing with a large range of different diseases and with diagnostic and therapeutic challenges

  • enjoy practical skills

  • are able to work within a team and have good time-management and ability to prioritise

  • enjoy both the excitement of acute medicine and the management of chronic conditions

  • are able to communicate effectively, and are empathic, patient and sound clinical decision-makers.

Working/training in a HST respiratory medicine post

Respiratory medicine involves both acute and chronic care and also involves being able to deal with significant diagnostic and therapeutic uncertainty.

Broad scope and interaction

There are a huge number of different respiratory conditions - including, among others, pulmonary infection, airways disease, cancer, interstitial lung disease, autoimmune diseases, sleep related breathing disorders, pleural disease and a significant interaction with many other specialties within the hospital and primary care setting.

This also includes significant interaction with intensive care medicine (ICM) and, indeed, there is a requirement to undertake some formal ICM training as part of the curriculum. For further details please refer to the Faculty of Intensive Care Medicine website.

Variety of practical procedures and training

There are a large number of practical procedures, including chest drain insertion, pleural ultrasound, bronchoscopy, interventional bronchoscopy and thoracoscopy.

The ability to work within a multidisciplinary team with cardiologists, rheumatologists, radiologists, pathologists, cardio-thoracic surgeons and oncologists is essential.

A good sound training in general internal medicine (GIM) is vital to success as most (but not all) consultant appointments are in respiratory medicine with some GIM.

In view of the significant number of practical procedures in respiratory medicine, good manual dexterity skills are an advantage.

Research opportunities

Respiratory medicine is a specialty that attracts a high level of opportunities for research; in fact, research during training is encouraged. Many trainees will obtain higher degrees such as MD or PhD.

Less-than-full-time training

Respiratory medicine has a long tradition of supporting less-than-full-time working amongst both trainees and consultants. We welcome applicants whose personal circumstances mean they wish to train flexibly in this way.

Competition for posts

Gaining a training post is usually competitive, so previous inpatient and outpatient clinic experience in the specialty, and some experience of related practical procedures, is desirable (but not essential) before application.

Further information

General / application queries

For general queries relating to areas such as eligibility criteria, making an application or the Oriel system, please contact the Physician Specialty Recruitment Office.

Queries regarding the progress of a submitted application should be directed to the below:

NHS England South West Severn
Postal address

Level 1 Park House

1200 Parkway

Newbrick road

Bristol Parkway North

Stoke Gifford


BS34 8YU

email address [email protected]

This specialty will be participating in round 2 of 2024.

Group 1 specialty

This is a Group 1 specialty and requires completion of the internal medicine training (IMT) stage 1 programme or equivalent; all programmes in the specialty will dual specialise with general internal medicine.

Therefore, this specialty uses the standard HST eligibility criteria for Group 1 specialties and does not accept candidates from any alternative training routes. Please visit the am I eligible? section of this website for further information.

Commitment to specialty

The specialty will not be assessing your commitment to specialty as part of the shortlisting process and will score your application purely via the self-assessment scoring framework. Commitment to specialty will be assessed as part of the interview.

ICM applicants seeking to dual train

Although the specialty usually only accepts trainees who have completed the full Internal Medicine Stage 1 Training curriculum requirements, an exception is for current intensive care medicine trainees who are applying with the intention to dual train in this specialty. These trainees can be considered provided that they can demonstrate all of the following:

  • Completion of UK Core Medical Training or ACCS acute medicine; they do not apply to IMT trainees who left the programme early, before completing the full curriculum outcomes.
  • Successful completion of ST3 in ICM by the advertised post start date.
  • Making satisfactory progress with their ICM training, evidenced by ARCP.
  • In addition, applicants must not be beyond the end of ST5 in ICM at the time of interview if they are applying with the intention of undertaking a dual CCT programme with ICM.

 It will be necessary to complete the Internal Medicine Stage 1 curriculum as part of the higher specialty training programme and this will be reviewed with your training programme director, taking into account your individual circumstances.

These are transitional arrangements and it is not guaranteed how long they are in place at time of writing. 

As part of the process of applying to HST, you may wish to gain an idea of how recruitment progressed in previous years for the various specialties participating in the nationally-coordinated recruitment.

To this end, we have published data dating back to 2013 (where this is available), based around four main areas:

  • Competition ratios - application numbers submitted to each specialty, along with the number of NTN and LAT posts available in each. It is worth noting that posts are subject to change throughout the round (increasing on average between 20-40%), and post numbers for this data are taken at the end of the round.

  • Shortlist scores - the scores awarded to all submitted applications, including average scores and distribution nationally.

  • Total scores - the total score awarded to all candidates who completed the full recruitment process for a specialty (application and interview), including some analysis of scores.

  • Post fill rates - the number of posts filled by region. 

We have published information for all specialties participating in our process that year; consequently not all specialties will have data in all cases.

This specialty will be participating in round 2 of 2024.

Indicative post numbers

Indicative vacancy numbers are available in the table below, broken down by region and divided between substantive national training number (NTN) and locum appointment for training (LAT) posts. In many cases these will be presented as a range (e.g. 1-4) as it is not always possible for regions to know at this stage how many vacancies there will be.

It is the intention that indicative post numbers for all regions will be published prior to the application opening date, although this cannot be guaranteed. Please note that this table is not likely to be updated subsequent to indicative numbers and actual numbers will be confirmed when programme preferences are opened later in the round.

Numbers subject to change

Please be aware that it is not uncommon for vacancy numbers to change as the round progresses.

More commonly, post vacancy numbers can increase as the round goes on (and confirmation of posts becomes available); but it is also possible that numbers can reduce as well. In the past, post numbers have risen an average of 20-40% from the start to the finish of the round but this can vary greatly for individual specialty/region combinations.

It is possible that regions which do not have a post at the start of the round may declare one after applications have closed. Whilst we try and minimise instances of this, it is not always possible to predict vacancies so even if there appears not to be a vacancy in your preferred specialty/region combination, you may wish to consider applying in case one becomes available during the round; you can check with the region concerned if you wish to check on the likelihood of a post arising.

Generally, once a region enter a post into a round they would always have at least one post available and would only withdraw it in exceptional circumstances.

Round 2 Interview dates & posts

Region NTN posts LAT posts* Evidence upload date(s)Interview date(s)
East Midlands TBC n/a

14/08/2024 - 21/08/2024


07, 08 October 2024

East of England TBC n/a

London & KSS





North East TBC n/a
North West

North West




South West


Thames Valley TBC n/a
Wessex TBC n/a
West Midlands TBC n/a
Yorkshire & Humber


Scotland** TBC TBC


Round 1 Interview dates & posts

Region NTN posts LAT posts* Evidence upload date(s)Interview date(s)
 East Midlands 2 N/A


18/12/23 - 05/01/24


4, 5, 6 March 2024

 East of England 5 - 12 N/A




Kent, Surrey and Sussex


 North East 1 - 4 N/A


North West

North West

0 - 1


0 - 5

 South West

2 - 8

 Thames Valley 0 - 3 N/A
 Wessex 3 - 10 N/A
 West Midlands 2 - 6 N/A
 Yorkshire & Humber

0 - 5

Scotland** 3 - 4 TBC
Wales 3 - 8 TBC

*English LATs

Please note, English regions do not recruit to LAT posts.

**Scotland post numbers

If you are interested in working in Scotland, a breakdown of post numbers by the four Scottish regions is available on the Scottish Medical Training website. This has details of all specialty training post numbers in Scotland, including specialties which are not part of the nationally-coordinated process.

The SMT website will always be the more accurate one where they differ.

Interview content

The interview will be split across two separate stations with a separate pair of interviewers scoring you on the areas within their station. The interview will consist of four questions which will range between 5–10 minutes each in length. You will be marked on these four questions and your communication skills in both stations, giving six scored areas in total. The headings below show the question areas and in which station they will be covered, along with information about what will be assessed.

Each station will last 15 minutes so, including the time between stations, the interview will be approximately 40 minutes.

Please note that this is subject to change and will be confirmed by the date of interview.

Scoring framework

The score of 1-5 an interviewer will award you for each assessment area is judged in relation to how well you perform against an expected level. Below is the framework used to award scores at interview, as well as interpretation of what these scores represent:






















not considered appointable


area for concern

performed below the level expected from a core level trainee applying to the specialty;
possibly unappointable, subject to discussion and performance in other areas



performed at the level expected of a core level trainee applying to the specialty;
the candidate is suitable for a higher specialty training post



above average ability;
the candidate is suitable for a higher specialty training post



highly performing trainee;
the candidate is suitable for a higher specialty training post

As shown in the table, for each of the question areas at interview, 3/5 is considered a satisfactory score; and reflects the level of performance that would be expected of a trainee ready to progress to a specialty training programme.

Should your performance go above and beyond this expected level, interviewers can award marks of 4/5 or 5/5 as appropriate.

Conversely, should your interview performance not reach the expected level, then interviewers can award marks of 1/5 or 2/5, as reflects their level of concern over your performance.


Raw interview score (RIS)

The RIS is the sum of all twelve scores awarded to you during your interview, but before any weighting is applied.

As each individual score will be between 1 and 5, your RIS will be between 12 and 60.

Appointability requirements

To be classed as 'appointable', you must meet all three criteria below:

  • none of your twelve interview scores can be 1/5
  • no more than two of your twelve interview scores can be 2/5
  • your RIS must be 36 or above.

If you meet all three requirements, your application will be assessed as appointable, and can progress to be considered for post offers.

However, if you fail to meet any of these requirements, your application must then be assessed as not appointable, and it will progress no further in that round.

Total score

After interview, a weighting is applied to the scores in each area, as well as your application score.

These scores are then combined to give your total score which determines your ranking, which will in turn be used to inform how offers are made. The weighting of different sections, as well as the method by which your total score is established, is detailed in the table accessible through the link below:





 Interviewer 1



 Interviewer 2






Max score


Station 1 - Question 1

Clinical scenario

/ 5

/ 5



Station 1 - Question 2

Application and training

/ 5

/ 5



Station 1 - Question 3

Communication mark 

/ 5

/ 5



Station 2 - Question 1

Medical Registrar suitability

/ 5

/ 5



Station 2 - Question 2

Suitability and commitment

/ 5 

/ 5 1.6 16

Station 2 - Question 3

Communication mark

/ 5  / 5 0.8 8

Raw interview score

/ 50

Interview score (w weighting)

/ 80

 Application score

/ 50


/ 20

 Total score

/ 100