Favourite papers

With such a high volume of academic papers being published daily and increasing open online access, it can be hard to know where to start your reading when you join the training programme, when you are revising for the SCE or when you are updating yourself about an unfamiliar area of practice. A good place to start is wikijournalclub which provides a shortcut into understanding some of the big/landmark trials such as SMARTUPLIFT, TORCH, and PIOPED II, and there’s also an app.

To further help direct your reading we asked some familiar names in Respiratory Medicine to recommend their favourite papers for Respiratory SpRs. If you can’t access one of the papers below through Athens, get in touch and we’ll try to help.

You should of course critically appraise any paper you read, to see if the conclusions are justified, and whether it should lead you to change your practice. Have a look at the Research page for links to helpful resources on improving your critical appraisal skills.



  • Dr Anant Patel, Royal Free Hospital, recommends:
    • Doll, Richard, and A. Bradford Hill. “Smoking and carcinoma of the lung.” BMJ 2.4682 (1950): 739-748. A classic! Some great lessons on epidemiology, causation and the political power of scientific knowledge.
  • Dr LJ Smith, Kings College Hospital, recommends:
    • Hiding in Plain Sight: Treating Tobacco Dependancy in the NHS. This 2018 RCP report addresses the harms and costs arising from smoking in the patients we see every day, and argues for a new approach to treating their addiction, with a focus on the responsibility of secondary care. A great read, full of useful data! 



Inhaled therapies

  • Dr James Goldring, Royal Free Hospital, recommends:
    • “How long should my regular inhaler last?” Not a paper, but a useful guide written by the Islington Responsible Respiratory Prescribing group. For those  inhalers without a dose counter it tells patients when to replace their inhalers as you can’t rely on just shaking the inhaler to tell.

Lung cancer

Pleural disease

Palliative care

Pulmonary infection

TB (pulmonary)

TB (latent)

TB (extra-pulmonary)

Sleep disordered breathing and Respiratory Failure

Bronchiectasis and CF

Pulmonary vascular disease

  • Dr Nick Murch, Royal Free Hospital, recommends:
    • Condliffe, R., Elliot, C. A., Hughes, R. J., Hurdman, J., Maclean, R. M., Sabroe, I., … & Kiely, D. G. (2013). Management dilemmas in acute pulmonary embolism. Thorax.  A practical and well-referenced article on dilemmas in all aspects of PE management including when to thrombolyse sub-massive PE, and whether to treat sub-segmental PEs. A godsend in this ‘evidence-light’ area.



Occupational lung disease

And now for something different



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