Dr. Chitra Lal received her medical degree from Maulana Azad Medical College (MAMC), University of Delhi, India in 1994. After doing a residency in pediatrics from MAMC, she completed an internal medicine residency from Saint Joseph Hospital, Chicago, Illinois (2000-2003) and a fellowship in pulmonary, critical care and sleep medicine (2003-2006) from the University of Tennessee, Memphis, TN. After being in a hospital based practice in Maine for over 3 years where she also served as medical director of cardiopulmonary services, medical director of pharmacy & therapeutics committee, and medical director of the sleep laboratory, she moved back to academic medicine. She served as assistant professor of medicine at the University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC from 12/2009 to 11/2010. She has been on MUSC teaching faculty in the Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care, Allergy and Sleep Medicine, since December, 2010, and is currently a professor of medicine.
Dr. Lal is board certified in internal medicine, pulmonary, critical care and sleep medicine. She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, the American College of Chest Physicians, the American Thoracic Society, and the American College of Physicians. She has been invited to speak at several regional and national meetings including the American Thoracic Society, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, and American College of Chest Physicians annual meetings, and has published in reputed journals in her area of expertise. She serves on several editorial boards and provides consultant services to various journals. She is currently chair of the Clinical Research and Quality Improvement Network of the American College of Chest Physicians, and is a member of the Sleep and Respiratory Neurobiology Program and Planning Committees of the American Thoracic Society. She has been honored with the designation of "2021 Distinguished Chest Educator", by the American College of Chest Physicians.
Dr. Lal has a special clinical interest in the management of obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea. She is evaluating patients for new therapies for central sleep apnea such as phrenic nerve stimulation. She also has expertise in the management of sleep disordered breathing in patients with complex congenital cardiac disorders, as well as treatment of other sleep disorders such as insomnia, narcolepsy, and idiopathic hypersomnia.
Dr. Lal has piloted a program for CPAP titration for the treatment of OSA in patients with Fontan physiology, in collaboration with adult congenital cardiology. She also has a clinical and research interest in cognitive impairment in OSA.
Dr. Lal has been included in “Guide to America’s Top Physicians” for the years 2009-present. In addition to teaching and other academic and research activities and providing inpatient pulmonary and critical care coverage, Dr. Lal directs a busy sleep clinic at MUSC and provides consultations for various sleep disorders. Dr. Lal’s current outpatient clinical and research interests are focused on sleep disorders, with a special research interest in cognitive impairment in obstructive sleep apnea. Dr. Lal is currently chairing an ATS workshop on "The link between OSA and Neurocognitive Impairment".