Aerospace Medicine Physician

Treat the special medical needs of air and spacecraft crew members.

What does an Aerospace Medicine Physician do?

An Aerospace Medicine Physician provides health care to those who work in airplanes and spaceships, including Pilots, Flight Attendants, and Astronauts.

Have you ever wondered what happens when you get a stomachache in outer space? Why your ears hurt on an airplane when it’s taking off and landing? Or what happens to germs at high altitudes? If the answer is “Yes,” you might want to consider a career as an Aerospace Medicine Physician.

Employed by the military, commercial airlines, government agencies, space agencies, and flight medicine clinics, you diagnose, treat, and prevent conditions to which those involved in aviation and spaceflight are susceptible, such as oxygen deprivation, middle ear and sinus problems, spatial disorientation, carbon monoxide poisoning, motion sickness, dehydration, and fatigue.

Like a regular Physician, you examine patients, conduct diagnostic tests, and prescribe medications and therapies. Because your patients spend their days subjected to extreme conditions, however — atmospheric conditions are notoriously low in oxygen, pressure, and temperature, and high in radiation, vibration, and acceleration — you’ve got to be an expert on the effects of flight on the human body.

Of course, you’ve also got to be an expert on the effects of the human body on flight: Because safety is always the number one priority, one of your most important jobs as an Aerospace Medicine Physician is screening aviation personnel for conditions that could put them and others at risk, such as heart disease, epilepsy, diabetes, and color blindness. In fact, Pilots must be medically certified as fit to fly — and you’re the one who does the certifying!