Skip to Main Content

Carolyn L. Rochester, MD, FCCP

Professor; Chair, COPD Consensus Working Group, YNHHS Care Signature Team, Pulmonary, Critical Care & Sleep Medicine; Medical Director, Yale COPD Program; Medical Director, Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program, VA Connecticut Healthcare System

Contact Information

Carolyn L. Rochester, MD, FCCP

Patient Care Location

Mailing Address

  • Pulmonary, Critical Care & Sleep Medicine

    PO Box 208057, 300 Cedar Street

    New Haven, CT 06520-8057

    United States



Dr. Rochester received her undergraduate degree from Smith College (1979), and her M.D. from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons (1983). She completed her internship and residency in internal medicine (1984-1986) and two years of post-graduate pulmonary fellowship at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center in New York City (1986-1988). She furthered her fellowship training in the Section of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep at Yale University School of Medicine (1998-1991), and joined the faculty of the Yale University School of Medicine in 1991. She is currently Professor of Medicine, and Director of Yale COPD Program at Yale University School of Medicine, and Director of the Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program at VA Connecticut Healthcare System. She is the Chair of the Yale-New Haven Health System COPD Consensus Group in the YNHHS Care Signature Team, and together with the multidisciplinary YNHHS COPD Consensus working group members and Dr. Nancy Kim, developed the inpatient COPD care pathway that was newly implemented in May 2021. She and the COPD Consensus working group collaborate with the YNHHS Quality and Safety team on processes to improve care of people with COPD and efforts to reduce hospital readmissions due to COPD. In 2020, the Yale COPD Program was recognized as an official Clinical Resource Center for the Alpha-1-Foundation, to provide specialty care for individuals with alpha-1-antitrypsin deficiency.

Dr. Rochester also directs the Yale Medical Students' Respiratory Pathophysiology curriculum in the Homeostasis Master Course and is involved in multiple other aspects of medical education at Yale. She was nominated for the 2020-2021 academic year Bohmfalk Teaching award, and received the 2021 Section of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine Postgraduate Fellows' teaching award.

In addition to her extensive clinical and teaching responsibilities, Dr. Rochester conducts clinical research in the fields of Pulmonary Rehabilitation (PR) and COPD. Areas of research interest include the role of transcutaneous electrical muscle stimulation as a muscle training technique in PR for patients with COPD, the impact of medical comorbidities on the outcomes of PR, the benefits of PR for patients with disorders other than COPD, impact of PR on home-based patient activity, and the varying clinical phenotypes of COPD. She has participated in several multi-center clinical trials in COPD, including the ECLIPSE Study and the IMPACT Study (sponsored by Glaxo-Smith-Kline), the UPLIFT Study (sponsored by Boehringer-Ingelheim), the GALATHEA Study (sponsored by Astra-Zeneca, Inc.), and others. She is a member of the Northeast Pulmonary Rehabilitation Consortium, a group of PR providers who conduct outcomes research in PR.

Dr. Rochester is a longstanding and active member of the American Thoracic Society (ATS) and the European Respiratory Society (ERS). She has served in multiple leadership roles in the ATS over the years, including as Chair of the Assembly of Pulmonary Rehabilitation and invited member of the ATS Board of Directors (2015-2017), and remains a member of the Executive Committee of the ATS Pulmonary Rehabilitation Assembly. She has served on the task forces and writing committees of numerous Official Society Statements and Guidelines on pulmonary rehabilitation (ATS, ERS, American College of Chest Physicians and American College of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation). Most recently, she was the ATS Co-Chair of the Task Force that developed the ATS/ERS Official Policy Statement: Enhancing Implementation, Use and Delivery of Pulmonary Rehabilitation (American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, 2015; 192(11)1373-86). She is actively involved in national and international advocacy to expand access to pulmonary rehabilitation for those likely to benefit from it. She is a member of the COPD Foundation CBQC Working Group on Physical Activity. She currently serves on the Planning and Evaluation and Quality Improvement and Implementation Committees of the ATS. She lectures nationally and internationally on the topics of COPD and pulmonary rehabilitation.

Education & Training

  • Fellow
    Yale University School of Medicine (1991)
  • Fellow
    Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center (1988)
  • Resident
    Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center (1986)
  • MD
    Columbia University (1983)

Departments & Organizations