Congratulations to Neil MacIntyre, MD, professor of medicine (Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care Medicine), who is featured in the CHEST Journal "Giants in Chest Medicine" series in July. CHEST is the official publication of the American College of Chest Physicians.
Extraordinary person; clinician; researcher and master educator. This is how the hundreds of clinicians he has successfully mentored describe Dr Neil MacIntyre. I am honored to provide this introduction, but challenged to do so in the limited space allotted. Dr. MacIntyre knew in his high school years that the unique mix of people and science that is the profession of medicine was perfect for him. So, after obtaining his undergraduate degree from the University of California, San Francisco, the native Californian decided to head east and tackle the big city. He obtained his medical degree in 1972 from Cornell University Medical College. While in medical school, his future father-in-law introduced him to the field of anesthesiology and Dr. MacIntyre found his love of physiology. He completed his internship and residency in internal medicine at Cornell, and that love for physiology propelled him toward a career in cardiology or pulmonary and critical care medicine. After residency, Dr. MacIntyre gave 3 years of service to the nation in the Navy Medical Corps as a naval aviation physician. His work with the pilots and the physiologic effects of flying and exposure to altitude had on their health sealed his interest in pulmonary medicine. Dr. MacIntyre notes, “I went into pulmonary because I think I am a closet mechanical engineer (or maybe closet plumber!). Mechanics, pressures, flows, stress, strain intrigue me. I think that is why I enjoyed my Navy flight surgeon stint so much—aviation principles have many similarities to the principles underlying positive pressure ventilation.”
He thus returned to the West Coast and completed a fellowship in pulmonary and critical care medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, in 1981. Upon completion of his fellowship, Dr. MacIntyre was recruited by Dr. James Crapo to come help him build the pulmonary division at Duke University as the Director of Respiratory Care. And there he remains today, 35 years later, as Professor of Medicine and Director of Respiratory Care Services, Pulmonary Function, and Pulmonary Rehabilitation.
“Duke has given me unique opportunities. The institution has given me invaluable protected time as medical director to explore better ways of doing things, be involved with national/international initiatives, and develop teaching skills by my involvement in many CHEST programs.”