• Establish an accurate diagnosis of asthma through a focused history and physical exam
    • Including family, occupational and environmental history
    • Including differentiating non-asthma causes of wheezing
  • Understand what the appropriate diagnostic testing is for asthma (ie. spirometry and pulmonary function tests), when to order it and how to interpret the findings.
  • Explain underlying pathophysiology of asthma to patients and/or family members
    • In relation to acute and recurrent episodes and prophylaxis principles
    • In relation to mechanism of action for relevant meds
    • In relation to red flags of impending asthma crisis
  • Assess asthma control and identify modifiable triggers for patients.
  • Describe the different medication delivery methods (and relevant compliance / educational issues).
  • Understand the different medication categories, including
    • mechanism of drug action, particularly SABA and ICS
    • benefits, risks
    • use by patients, especially compliance and method of use of each device
  • Propose a management plan for patients with acute exacerbations.

Core Resources

Asthma Clinical Card 2019

The Calgary Guide to Understanding Disease. Asthma: Findings on Investigations. Published Dec 17, 2012. Available at:

Chronic asthma clinical practice guideline.

Toward Optimized Practice (TOP) Asthma Working Group. 2018 April. Chronic asthma clinical practice guideline. Edmonton, AB: Toward Optimized Practice. Available from:

Asthma Devices Clinical Card 2014

Chadha N, Keegan DA. Asthma Devices. Canadian Family Medicine Clinical Card. 2013. Available at:

Asthma and COPD Medication Table

The Lung Association. Respiratory Medications.  Medications Currently Available in Ontario.   October 23, 2017.  Electronic most-updated version can be accessed on:


Asthma Society of Canada. Asthma Action Plan. Available at

Office Emergencies emodule

Jansz G, Law M, Lee S et al. Office Emergencies: Family and Community Medicine Clerkship Core Curriculum Module. University of Toronto.

Cough. Family and Community Medicine Clerkship Core Curriculum Module

Young S, Mardimae A.  Cough.  Family and Community Medicine Clerkship Core Curriculum Module.  University of Toronto.  March 2018.