Flight Surgeon

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DNA Helicase

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10+ Year Member
Jan 20, 2007
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Does anyone on this board have any experience as a flight surgeon? My father was in the Air Force but he was enlisted. I am considering applying for an HPSP, and wanted to know the chances / competitiveness of matching into Aerospace Medicine. It seems to be amazing, and I'm pretty excited about it. I've started filling out the paperwork and wanted to know a little bit more about my chances. I know it's a long way away, but it has a lot to do with my interest in getting involved with the military. I know a lot of people on here are anti-HPSP, etc. That's not what this is about, so hopefully it doesn't turn into that. I loved moving around, I loved the culture. I was just curious if anyone had any information to contribute regarding experiences / stories about being a flight surgeon. I'll be running a search on here to check, but I figured it was worth asking first. Thanks!


Senior Member
15+ Year Member
Dec 12, 2003
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It is probably best to do a search since this has been talked about a lot, but here is some info that I can provide.

I am a flight surgeon and got my "wings" about 6 months ago. Becomin a flight surgeon is for lack of a better word, non-competitive. If you want to be one, you can. In fact, the Air Force is moving more towards operational medicine and wanting new grads to do a minimum 2 year tour as a flight surgeon before going into residency. Flight medicine can be exciting depending where your at (i.e. If your not stuck in the clinic for most days of the week and you get to fly on a high performance aircraft). I would say about 3/4 of my graduated Aerospace Medicine class wanted to be flight surgeon to begin with (i.e. Got denied residency, wanted to finish their ADSC and get out). Include me in that number, but only because I hate clinic work (A far, far cry from Anesthesia). Don't get me wrong, the patients are great though and if you like this work this is actually a good job and there are many benefits, but if I had o do it over again I would ot sign on the dotted line...Anyway, you have the option of being a flight surgeon for life, but they usually like these people to be residency trained in a specialty or complete a training program in Occupational Medicine/Preventive Medicine. For the latter two, you usually have to do an operational tour before being allowed to enter in these programs.

Hope this helps. Let me know if you have any questions, I am occasionally on this site, but there are a lot of current and ex-flight surgeons that can share their experience


Junior Member
10+ Year Member
Jun 8, 2006
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I loved being a Flight Surgeon because:

1. I was "overseas" Alaska.
2. We were overmanned.
3. Fighter Doc (F-15C/D).
4. I was assigned to the fighter squadron, my boss was a pilot.
5. I had no kids and so went TDY without that worry.
6. It was all pre 9/11.

Things may not be as cool/fun now. Many stateside FS didn't enjoy their time as much. You need to talk to some current FS. My advise is to go overseas and to go fighters, you will enjoy it more and spend less time stuck in clinic.