Aerospace Medicine Residency

For 30 years, UTMB has been training physicians to become specialists in the field of Aerospace Medicine. Our graduates have proudly supported eras of spaceflight – from Space Shuttle to ISS and now commercial space. We look to the future and see how access to space is ever- increasing. UTMB Aerospace Medicine combines the facilities, faculty, and expertise of several partners to provide the next level of training, research, and services focused on space medicine and aviation medicine.

The two‐year, ACGME-accredited program integrates classroom academics and field practicum experiences in Aerospace Medicine. Historically, the academic requirements led to a Master of Public Health degree; this has transitioned to a Master’s of Science degree in Aerospace Medicine. Practicum experience is offered in a variety of Aerospace Medicine-related activities and rotations. Program graduates are eligible for board certification in Aerospace Medicine by the American Board of Preventive Medicine (ABPM).

Training is focused on understanding the spectrum of care warranted by an Aerospace Medicine specialist, i.e., prevention, acute care, and maintenance of primary specialty skills. Residents are also exposed to medical operations, aeromedical certification, research, and systems engineering custom-designed for non-engineers. Training is led by experienced, board-certified Aerospace Medicine faculty, as well as national and international experts, with specific expertise in the unique aspects of what is being taught, including:

  • crew health issues
  • medical standards and certification
  • risk management
  • extra-vehicular activities
  • life support and protective equipment
  • physics of flight
  • physiologic changes in aerospace environments, including microgravity
  • operational considerations of hyper and hypobaric environments
  • radiation
  • telemedicine and remote monitoring
  • lifetime surveillance of astronaut health

Residents also become proficient in the ability to critically evaluate Aerospace Medicine literature and participate in academic research related to the physiologic changes of spaceflight and aviation.

It is our mission to prepare physicians in the operational aspects of Aerospace Medicine and space biomedical research to protect the health of populations exposed to unusual or extreme environments, to be knowledgeable about the physical and engineering aspects of the flight environment, and manage public safety issues from a variety of regulatory agencies.

Practicum experience includes clinical and other rotations to provide the necessary training opportunities covering the entire spectrum of Aerospace Medicine. These rotations prepare the resident through supervised clinical, project, and program management experiences to be competent in all facets of aviation and space medicine.

Learn more about Aerospace Medicine from the faculty at UTMB

Academic Study

The Master’s degree meets the credit hour requirement as set forth by the Council on Education for Public Health and the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education.

  • Courses in core knowledge areas of public health (Biostatistics, Epidemiology, Health Policy, Environmental Health, and Social/Behavioral Sciences)
  • Aerospace specialty courses (toxicology, global health & travel medicine, principles of aviation and space medicine, and accident investigation/ risk management and mitigation)
  • Completion of an integrative learning experience (capstone) 
  • Completion of a mentored non-patient care public health practice experience

Aerospace Medicine I & II

These courses teach residents fundamental & integrated concepts of Aerospace Medicine as follows:

  • Spatial disorientation
  • Physiologic response to spaceflight
  • Space radiation
  • Acoustics
  • Vibration and thermal loads
  • Decompression sickness
  • Atmosphere, hypoxia, & hypercarbia
  • Systems engineering
  • Requirements writing
  • Vehicle design & flight requirements
  • Probabilistic risk assessment & risk management
  • Aeromedical certification of medically complex cases
  • Clinical medicine & medical systems in low earth orbit & exploration medicine

Example Practicum Opportunities

  • NASA Johnson Space Center
  • Commercial Space
  • Federal Aviation Administration
  • Military Aerospace Medicine
  • Aviation Medicine
  • Extreme Medicine Environments
  • Hyperbaric Medicine
  • Various Other Elective Opportunities


Aerospace Medicine Residency Program
University of Texas Medical Branch
301 University Boulevard
Galveston, Texas 77555-1150

Phone: (409) 747-6131

Serena Auñón-Chancellor, MD, MPH
Program Director
Aerospace Medicine

R. Yvette Schulz, MBA
Program Manager
Aerospace Medicine