It is now 40 years since the first edition of Lecture Notes: Respiratory Medicine was written by our predecessor and colleague, Dr Alistair Brewis.
Alistair Brewis, who sadly died in 2014, was inspirational to generations of students and doctors. He was something of a polymath. As consultant in the Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle, he was a very highly regarded physician. With a natural ability to communicate, his calm, friendly chats with patients were remarkably insightful, putting them at ease as he pieced together the clinical jigsaw. As a teacher, he had the ability tomake almost any topic seem surprisingly understandable. Over the years, he inspired many to take up careers in respiratory medicine. Alistair was also an accomplished artist. He illustrated the first edition of Lecture Notes with sketches and diagrams that both amused and genuinely facilitated understanding; many have been retained in this ninth edition. As amentor, he was a reliable source of sage advice, a wise man who understood the human condition.
In the ninth edition, the text has been revised and expanded to provide a concise up-to-date summary of respiratory medicine for undergraduate students and junior doctors preparing for postgraduate examinations. A particular feature of respiratory medicine in recent years has been multidisciplinary team work, utilising the skills from a variety of disciplines to provide the best care for patients with respiratory diseases. This book should be useful to colleagues such as physiotherapists, lung-function physiologists and respiratory nurse specialists. The emphasis of Lecture Notes: Respiratory Medicine has always been on information that is useful and relevant to everyday clinical medicine, and the ninth edition remains a patient-based book to be read before and after visits to the wards and clinics where clinical medicine is learnt and practised. As Lecture Notes: Respiratory Medicine develops over time, we remain grateful to our teachers and their teachers, and we pass on our evolving knowledge of respiratory medicine to our students and their students.