PrinceOfPersia0

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What is everyones opinion on this? Do you think in the future more doctors will be going to space? I read an article about a canadian physician that specializes in emergency medicine that goes to space. What do doctors that work at NASA do exactly? I know they mostly do research but is this mostly done on earth or are there low orbital missions too?
 
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howelljolly

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Are you serious?

Flight surgeons don't perform surgery on airplanes.

They specialize in the evaluation and treatment of patients who's physiology is uniquely affected by exposure to extremes in altitude, speed, and gravitational force - pilots and astonauts. They do their jobs on the ground in a medical facility.

In order to learn about this abnormal physiology and its effects, they obtain graduate medical education in the military, or do a fellowship in Aerospace medicine.

http://www.med.wright.edu/asm/
 

generic

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Yeah, it's aerospace medicine.

I dunno what the near-term future holds for US space exploration (budget cuts and mission cuts?), but surely in the longer-term future we'll see more and more stuff. It's the final frontier, after all...haha

Some of our professors work with/at NASA sometimes and do things like research "anemia of spaceflight," or get to decide which experiments the astronauts take up on the shuttle, etc.

There's also Dr. Mattox, the trauma surgeon, who consults on the super first aid kit the crew take and tries to help think up ways to talk astronauts in space through an appendectomy or whatever. Seems interesting...
 

geauxg8rs

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There are plenty of doctors out there who are space cadets.
 

howelljolly

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There are plenty of doctors out there who are space cadets.
Judging by the first three posts of this thread, many med students are as well.

ER docs in space, flight surgeons on planes. Whats the matter with you?
 

usnavdoc

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Judging by the first three posts of this thread, many med students are as well.

ER docs in space, flight surgeons on planes. Whats the matter with you?
Well actually, Navy flight surgeons do have required flight time every month and depending on squadron will fly the plane/helo. And the AirForce has their CCAT teams that are essentially flying ICU transport with physicians on board.
 

StevenRF

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I think the majority of astronauts, at least in the US, are either doctors, engineers, or pilots. As for aerospace medicine, there are only 2 civilian residencies, and only the UTMB one focuses on space, other in ohio. It's a 2 year preventative medicine residency w/ MPH or combined with IM for 4 years.

Planning on applying myself. We are about to hit space race 2.0 China and India are launching stuff to the moon, and multiple countries are drumming up to extend their presence in space. Public companies like SpaceX are starting up for the first time and contract out everything to governments. Quite exciting times.

BTW, the main book for the field is Fundamentals of Aerospace Medicine by DeHart, now Davis. A really fun read! Really cool if you like physiology -> altered gravity, pressures, gasses, etc. and stuff like radiation, life support systems, logistics. Oh yea, both the johnson and kennedy space centers offer SubI's!!!
 

howelljolly

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I think the majority of astronauts, at least in the US, are either doctors, engineers, or pilots. As for aerospace medicine, there are only 2 civilian residencies, and only the UTMB one focuses on space, other in ohio. It's a 2 year preventative medicine residency w/ MPH or combined with IM for 4 years.

Planning on applying myself. We are about to hit space race 2.0 China and India are launching stuff to the moon, and multiple countries are drumming up to extend their presence in space. Public companies like SpaceX are starting up for the first time and contract out everything to governments. Quite exciting times.

BTW, the main book for the field is Fundamentals of Aerospace Medicine by DeHart, now Davis. A really fun read! Really cool if you like physiology -> altered gravity, pressures, gasses, etc. and stuff like radiation, life support systems, logistics. Oh yea, both the johnson and kennedy space centers offer SubI's!!!
thats pretty cool.

According to the rules, depending on your specific role as an astronaut, you need a bachelors, or graduate degree in Mathematics, Engeneering, or a basic science. You also need to be an experienced pilot. Then they have a list of things that are "preferable".... experience as a test pilot, work experience, etc etc. Only 320 people or so have ever been selected to train as astronauts.

Doctors go into space as astronauts primarily, and secondarily, they might do basic science research. They dont go up there to be a clinician. Similarly, that schoolteacher didnt go up there to educate the astronauts.
 
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