Aerospace Medicine Physician

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

Very Good

Salary Range
~ $172,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Aerospace Medicine Physicians 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!

Should I be an Aerospace Medicine Physician?

You should have a doctoral degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Logical Thinker: You take a step-by-step approach to analyze information and solve problems.
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.
  • Helpful: You always keep an eye out for what other people need.

  • How to Become an
    Aerospace Medicine Physician

    Most Aerospace Medicine Physicians have a Doctorate. Start by getting your Bachelor's degree. Chart?chd=s:aaaaa9&chl=|||||doctorate+%28100%25%29&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,0,100
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