Department Pulmonary Medicine
Primary Location Cleveland Clinic Main Campus
Type of Doctor Adults Only
Languages English
Surgeon No
Locations Specialties & Treatments

Specialty in Diseases & Conditions

  • Interstitial Lung Disease (ILD)
  • Lung Dominant Connective Tissue Disease
  • Polymyositis
  • Pulmonary Hypertension
  • Rheumatic Lung Disease
  • Sarcoidosis
  • Scleroderma
  • Vasculitis
View all 8 Specialties +


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About Kristin Highland, MD

Dr. Highland is fellowship trained in both pulmonary/critical care and rheumatology and has a dual appointment in the Respiratory Institute and the Orthopedics and Rheumatology Institute. Prior to coming to the Cleveland Clinic, she was an Associate Professor at the Medical University of South Carolina where she was director of the pulmonary hypertension program, interim director of the sarcoidosis center, and ran a very busy rheumatic lung disease clinic. Her clinical practice continues to be composed of complex patients with interstitial lung disease, pulmonary hypertension, sarcoidosis and the pulmonary complications of the rheumatic diseases (scleroderma, polymyositis/dermatomyositis, mixed connective tissue disease, systemic lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis and vasculitis). Her combined training has given her a unique perspective and expertise in caring for the patient with rheumatic lung disease and sarcoidosis.

Dr. Highland also has a Masters of Science in Clinical Research. Her research interests have been concentrated in interstitial lung disease and pulmonary hypertension with an emphasis on scleroderma

Education & Professional Highlights

Education & Professional Highlights


Education & Fellowships

Fellowship - MUSC Medical Center of Medical University of South Carolina
Charleston, SC USA

Fellowship - MUSC Medical Center of Medical University of South Carolina
Pulmonary Disease
Charleston, SC USA

Medical Education - United States Air Force
Altus, OK USA

Residency - MUSC Medical Center of Medical University of South Carolina
Internal Medicine
Charleston, SC USA

Residency - MUSC Medical Center of Medical University of South Carolina
Family Medicine
Charleston, SC USA

Medical Education - Indiana University School of Medicine
Indianapolis, IN USA

Undergraduate - Indiana University
Indianapolis, IN USA


  • Internal Medicine - Pulmonary Disease
  • Internal Medicine - Critical Care Medicine
  • Internal Medicine - Rheumatology
Research & Publications

Research & Publications

See publications for Kristin Highland, MD.

(Disclaimer: This search is powered by PubMed, a service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine. PubMed is a third-party website with no affiliation with Cleveland Clinic.)

Industry Relationships

Industry Relationships

Cleveland Clinic physicians and scientists may collaborate with the pharmaceutical or medical device industries to help develop medical breakthroughs or provide medical expertise or education. Cleveland Clinic strives to make scientific advances that will benefit patient care and support outside relationships that promise public benefit. In order for the discoveries of Cleveland Clinic physicians' and scientists' laboratories and investigations to benefit the public, these discoveries must be commercialized in partnership with industry. As experts in their fields, Cleveland Clinic physicians and scientists are often sought after by industry to consult, provide expertise and education.

To assure professional and commercial integrity in such matters, Cleveland Clinic maintains a program that reviews these collaborations and, when appropriate, puts measures in place to minimize bias that may result from ties to industry. Cleveland Clinic publicly discloses the names of companies when (i) its physicians/scientists receive $5,000 or more per year (or, in rare cases, equity or stock options) for speaking and consulting, (ii) its physicians/scientists serve as a fiduciary, (iii) its physicians/scientists receive or have the right to receive royalties or (iv) its physicians/ scientists hold any equity interest for the physician's/scientist's role as inventor, discoverer, developer, founder or consultant.* In publicly disclosing this information, Cleveland Clinic tries to provide information as accurately as possible about its physicians' and scientists' connections with industry.

As of 4/9/2019, Dr. Highland has reported the financial relationships with the companies listed below. In general, patients should feel free to contact their doctor about any of the relationships and how the relationships are overseen by Cleveland Clinic. To learn more about Cleveland Clinic's policies on collaborations with industry and innovation management, go to our Integrity in Innovation page.

Consulting and/or Speaking. Dr. Highland receives fees of $5,000 or more per year as a paid consultant, speaker or member of an advisory committee for the following companies:

  • United Therapeutics Corporation
  • Actelion Pharmaceuticals, Ltd.
  • Gilead Sciences, Inc.
  • Boehringer Ingelheim

Public Health Service-Reportable Financial Conflicts of Interest. Cleveland Clinic scientists and physicians engage in basic, translational and clinical research activities, working to solve health problems, enhance patient care and improve quality of life for patients. Interactions with industry are essential to bringing the researchers' discoveries to the public, but can present the potential for conflicts of interest related to their research activities. Click here to view a listing of instances where Cleveland Clinic has identified a Public Health Service (PHS)-Reportable Financial Conflict of Interest and has put measures in place to ensure that, to the extent possible, the design, conduct and reporting of the research is free from bias.

* Cleveland Clinic physicians and scientists subscribe to the guidance presented in the PhRMA Code on Interactions with Healthcare Professionals and the AdvaMed Code of Ethics on Interactions with Health Care Professionals. As such, gifts of substantial value are generally prohibited.

Patient Satisfaction Reviews

193 Patient Satisfaction Reviews

The Patient Satisfaction Rating is an average of all responses to the care provider related questions shown below from our nationally-recognized Press Ganey Patient Satisfaction Survey. Patients that are treated in outpatient or hospital environments may receive different surveys, and the volume of responses will vary by question.

Responses are measured on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the best score.

The comments are submitted by patients and reflect their views and opinions. The comments are not endorsed by and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cleveland Clinic.

Overall Star Ratings
4.9 out of 5
Explains 4.8
Listens 4.9
Courtesy, Respect & Concern 4.9
Knows Medical History 5
Time Spent with Patient 5
Patient Rating of Doctor 4.9

39 Patient Comments

Reviewed on Aug 21, 2019

Dr. Highland is excellent!

Reviewed on Aug 21, 2019

I have been to a number of local doctors. Kristen Highland has been the first doctor to not only understand my disease but have a specific plan on how to treat and next steps. I feel optimistic about the treatment course for the first time since being diagnosed 3.5 years ago.

Reviewed on Aug 19, 2019

Dr. Highland is fantastic in all aspects of the care she provides to her patients! Always a great experience. I actually look forward to coming to the Clinic to experience the care that is provided.

Reviewed on Aug 6, 2019

Excellent doctor. Knowledgeable, patient, caring and extremely informative.

Reviewed on Aug 6, 2019

there were some limitations to how much dr highland could do in terms of treatment recommendations; I was there to rule out pulmonary issues rather than treat them. she gave me excellent explanations complete with drawings, and did a great deal to ease my greatest worries. I felt very confident in her care

Reviewed on Aug 6, 2019

Dr. Highland has been the first doctor to really listen to me. She saw me, not just me a medical number or just another chronic disease patient whining. She SAW ME! She could see me sweating in a cold building from the severe pain I live in, every day. Dr. Highland, put in a referral for me to start palliative care. Even though she couldnt help me with my lungs yet, because I was hurting so much, I couldnt do the breathing tests. She actually listened.... she heard me... finally after so long of this horrible pain from this disease, someone heard me in my dark bottomless well of dehumanizing, soul stealing pain. No matter what happens, I want to thank her from the bottom of my heart. I will never forget that day, or her kindness. She gave me a priceless gift... hope.

Reviewed on Aug 6, 2019

I have told everyone I know already, plus Facebook, plus the special Facebook groups I am in for my disease. They all know about Dr. Highland. As a matter of fact, some of the people in my group are going to try to get a referral to see her. She is a great doctor!!

Reviewed on Jul 26, 2019

Dr. Highland always listens to any concerns I may have and includes me in the discussion of the treatment plan.

Reviewed on Jul 24, 2019

I have the utmost respect for Dr. Highland. She is truly an exceptional doctor. She is well versed in her field of Pulmonalogy and Rheumetology.

Reviewed on Jul 17, 2019

I was so excited to meet Dr Highland. Her knowledge of my scleroderma and pulmonary issues was outstanding.

Reviewed on Jul 15, 2019

great Dr. and staff

Reviewed on Jun 17, 2019

dr highland always listens to my concerns about my awful disease!

Reviewed on Jun 3, 2019

Dr Highland was able to get me in for an appointment in spite of time restrictions due to my moving.

Reviewed on Jun 3, 2019

Dr Highland is wise, kind, professional, and intelligent. Her expertise in treating my sarcoidosis has greatly improved my quality of life.

Reviewed on May 14, 2019

Excellent, Dr. Highland and her Trainee were both easy to talk with and discuss my health issues. She opened and closed my encounter with her in a positive manner.My encounter with all of the staff was excellent. Made comfortable in very difficult circumstances having a chronic illness that can be life limiting is difficult to grasp.

Reviewed on May 14, 2019

I felt immediately comfortable with Dr. Highland and her trainee. I have a confusing diagnosis and one not easily treated which involves multiple organs, and body processes. Comforting to have a physician so well versed in my condition. Her knowledge and expertise will be helpful.

Reviewed on May 13, 2019

I highly recommend Dr. Highland. She is genuinely concerned about her patients. She is attentive and patient. She takes the necessary time to listen and explain in details the information I need to know regarding my health, new medications and case studies. I feel extremely confident in having her as my provider for Rheumatology and Pulmonology.

Reviewed on May 7, 2019

Dr. Highland always listens to any concerns i may have and always answers any questions. she explains my treatment plan in detail.

Reviewed on May 6, 2019

Excellent service by all. The scheduler, Jennifer, seemed to know my sense of urgency, and communicated, wonderfully. Dr.Highland was knowledgeable and a delight.

Reviewed on Apr 29, 2019

Dr Highland is the best! I've referred many to her already!

Reviewed on Apr 23, 2019

Dr. Highland and her staff are always wonderful. Dr. Highland always puts her patients top priority and is not just a dr but also a friend.

Reviewed on Apr 16, 2019

Came to cc in wheel chair having lost 65 lbs via poor treatment by TN MDs. Now walk and feel great but limited in action given PAH with 40 mm Hg. right ventricle pressure. Dr. Hignland is co caring, compassionate, competent and sconcise, lucid, informative with her clinical communication. Came to CC in wheel chair having lost 65 lbs wearing 3 layers of clothing as TN MDs misdiagnosed and mis treated concluding there was nothing to be done to improve my condition and never mentioned PAH or pulmonary pressure. I now feel great, have regained some weight and physical strength and with O2 walk and do aerobic exercise which is limited by my PAH and other morbidities. Dr. Highland is so caring, compassionate, excellent communicator providing lucid, concise, informative clinical conclusions. Scheduling is impossible without her personal assistance which she has done for every appt. My wife and I, and our son who is a Retina specialist are so glad we were assigned Dr. Highland. I am concerned that my interest in my treatment, given the TN experience, has taken more of her time than is normally scheduled. Everyone at CC medical, clerical. volunteer have been courteous and professional. telephp

Reviewed on Apr 16, 2019

Dr Highland is an asset to the Clinic. she had a comforting bedside manner. I could tell she cared about me and was honest with her answers to my questions.

Reviewed on Apr 15, 2019

Dr. Highland is my guiding star. She is available to me when I need her. I am amazed by her dedication and ability to communicate accurately in yconcise, easily understandable terms from a distance.

Reviewed on Mar 7, 2019

Dr. Highland and her staff have been extremely helpful and supportive during all my visits.

Reviewed on Mar 5, 2019

I must say that my experience with Dr. Highland was wonderful; I felt nearly like a long-lost sister! Unlike any medical appointments I've had in the past, I can hardly wait for the next one! I feel that "Very Good," is an inadequate experience was excellent!

Reviewed on Feb 19, 2019

Dr. Highland provides the very best of care. Her entire staff are fantastic. Dr. Highland is extremely informative, very compassionate, answers my many questions, making sure I understand each of topic we discuss. I come up from the Tampa Bay area of Florida to see all of my Doctors at the Clinic. It is something I actually look forward too. You have a genuine feeling of being "taken care of" upon walking in the front door of the Clinic.

Reviewed on Feb 5, 2019

dr highland makes me feel like I am her only patient. she takes time to question me and explain my treatment and plan the next step. she's very thorough, too!

Reviewed on Jan 22, 2019

Dr Highland was pleasant , professional, a wealth of helpful information, made my husband and I feel at ease , addressed all my health concerns and was patient, we did not feel rushed at all . I look forward to continuing under her care thru the patient portal and again in person ( we drive over 5 hours to the Cleveland clinic from our home )

Reviewed on Jan 21, 2019

Doctor is professional, knowledgeable, takes the necessary time to provide answers and explanations for self care. Most Staff and receptionists are respectful, informed and professional.

Reviewed on Dec 3, 2018

Dr Highland seems very interested in my care and listens to my concerns. if I have questions after I leave I am comfortable sending a message thru My Chart

Reviewed on Nov 26, 2018

Dr. Highland was extremely kind and talked to me with no rush on amount of time she spent with me. she was very helpful and gave me renewed hope on my physical problem. I would recommend her to anyone who has this problem.

Reviewed on Nov 26, 2018

Dr Highland is a very caring doctor and I consider it a privilege to be her patient

Reviewed on Nov 19, 2018

Dr. Highland took time to inform me about different treatments, listened to my concerns about side effects, and helped me understand the benefits of the treatment course we decided upon.

Reviewed on Oct 31, 2018


Reviewed on Oct 3, 2018

Kristin B Highland MD asked me questions no other md has asked. We discussed every prescribed medication I take as well as a host of alternative treatments I also take. She gave every medication serious consideration and discussion.

Reviewed on Oct 3, 2018

Kristin B Highland MD was amazing! First of all I was impressed she has 2 specialities- rheumotologist and Pulmonologist. It was obvious she had reviewed all my medical information and appreciated my participation in my health care. Prior to my appointment, I had prepared a list of my discussion points as well as particular test results and medical articles. I have experienced some doctors who take offense to this I approach. Not Kristin B Highland MD ! She was down to earth, good sense of humor, extremely thorough, competent, explained the next steps - I can't say enough about her. I had to give her a hug as I was leaving. I also saw Md Lane and was impressed by him also.(send me a survey for him) I belong to a forum " Inspire" and am recommending Cleveland Clonic to everyone!

Reviewed on Sep 10, 2018

long wait to see provider and long wait to schedule next appt.

Reviewed on Sep 10, 2018

Dr. Highland is a true asset to the Clinic. I am extremely fortunate to have her as part of my "Clinic team," and look forward to my visits with her. Not only is she exceptionally knowledgeable in so many fields but also is a genuine listener. Thank you, Dr. Hfighland!

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