Aerospace Medicine Residency Program

Dean M. Olson, M.D., M.S., M.S., Director

About the Residency Program

This two-year training program is fully-accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). In addition to their clinical training, residents must complete graduate-level coursework, leading to a Master of Science in Aerospace Medicine. This coursework is integrated within the two-year program. At the completion of their training, residents will receive both a residency certificate and a Master of Science in Aerospace Medicine, thus fulfilling the board eligibility requirements for certification in aerospace medicine by the American Board of Preventive Medicine.

Minimum Requirements for Residency Applicants

  1. This is a NASA-funded program. United State citizenship is required.
  2. Completion of all the three steps of the USMLE examinations.
  3. An ECFMG certificate, if the applicant is a foreign medical graduate (FMG)
  4. Applicants must have successfully completed at least 12 months of clinical education (PGY-1) in a residency program accredited by the ACGME, Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, or the College of Family Physicians of Canada. Resident experience must include at least 11 months of direct patient care in both inpatient and outpatient settings.

Training Program Outline

First Year: In this year, residents will complete a minimum of four months of clinical rotations involving direct patient care. These rotations will be accomplished at public health facilities and the flight medicine clinics of WSU and Wright-Patterson Air Force Base (WPAFB). Nine months of this year, spanning three semesters, will include graduate-level coursework leading to an M.S. degree in aerospace medicine. Residents who are not pilots will be required to complete a course in basic aviation ground school. Flight training programs are available at various locations, and basic flight training is encouraged. The residency year will start July 1, and the academic coursework will be added starting with the fall semester (typically, the last week of August). The first-year courses will be completed by the middle of June.

Second Year: In this year residents will complete clinical preventive and aerospace medicine rotations. These will include public health rotations at the Greene County Combined Health District (GCCHD) and Reach Out of Montgomery County. Flight medicine clinic rotations are completed at WSU and the 88th Aerospace Medicine Squadron at WPAFB. Residents will also complete a clinical rotation in hyperbaric medicine at WPAFB as well as training in the Advanced Clinical Concepts in Aeromedical Evacuation (ACCAE) and the Critical Care Air Transport Team (CCATT). Accident investigation and forensic pathology training is completed at the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office.

Residents complete four to six months of rotations outside of the Dayton metropolitan area. These will include the NASA- Johnson Space Center (JSC) in Houston, the Federal Aviation Administration-Civil Aerospace Medical Institute (FAA-CAMI) in Oklahoma City, the Aviation Medicine Advisory Service (AMAS) in Denver and the FAA-Regional Flight Surgeon’s office in Chicago. Elective rotations are available at NASA-Kennedy Space Center, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and the medical department of American Airlines at Dallas-Fort Worth.

Master of Science Degree: The Master of Science in Aerospace Medicine degree is awarded to residents who complete a minimum of 30 semester hours of graduate course work and the required research project.

Scholarship Opportunities

Several scholarships are available through the Aerospace Medical Association (AsMA), the AsMA Foundation, Constituent Organizations of AsMA and other organizations affiliated with the AsMA.

The International Academy of Aviation and Space Medicine also has a scholarship program to enable young physicians commencing a career in aerospace medicine to undertake training in the specialty. The scholarship can be used to facilitate attendance at a formal training course, or participation in a work program (one year or more, structured towards educational goals) in a recognized aerospace medicine institute.