More Information:

The Society is dedicated to:

  • Establishing standards for the specialty of Aerospace Medicine, including but not limited to, the development of core-competencies for residents in Aerospace Medicine and practice guidelines for Aerospace Medicine practitioners.
  • Representing and promoting the interests of physicians who specialize in Aerospace Medicine.
  • Promoting and preserving the highest professional standards of care among practitioners of Aerospace Medicine.
  • Interesting young physicians and medical students in the specialty of Aerospace Medicine.
  • Increasing the value of the specialty of Aerospace Medicine to prospective employers.

Our Beginnings

ASAMS was first envisioned in June 1997, as The American College of Aerospace Medicine. On May 17, 1998, the College petitioned the Executive Council of the Aerospace Medical Association (AsMA) for constituent status in that organization. After considerable debate, both within AsMA and the College, and to meet requirements set by AsMA, a name change was proposed and later ratified by the membership. In May 1998, the College became The American Society of Aerospace Medicine Specialists or ASAMS. Eighty-five founding members and other interested physicians attended the first organizational meeting in Seattle, Washington on Thursday, May 21, 1998. The Society has met annually since then at AsMA's annual scientific meeting.

Our Unique Medical Specialty

Aerospace Medicine is a unique and challenging specialty within Preventive Medicine. However, it also is a multidisciplinary specialty that draws from various other clinical specialties such as environmental medicine, internal medicine, neurology, ophthalmology, otorhinolaryngology, pathology, and psychiatry to provide comprehensive medical services to aerospace personnel and their families. Additionally, Aerospace Medicine practitioners do not limit their practice solely to clinical medicine. A significant part of the practice is to enhance safety within the aerospace environment and industry. To accomplish this, practitioners must have a working knowledge of diverse non-clinical disciplines such as human factors, physiology, psychology, toxicology, aerospace engineering, and aeronautics.

Several civilian and military residency programs exist to train physicians in this specialty. Typically, postgraduate training following internship will last from two to three years. This includes one year for a required Master in Public Health (MPH) or Master of Science (MS) degree, plus one or two years of clinical and practical training. Specialists in Aerospace Medicine in the United States are certified by either the American Board of Preventive Medicine or the American Osteopathic Board of Preventive Medicine. It is not unusual for Aerospace Medicine specialists to be Board-certified in other clinical or surgical specialties.

Upon completion of training specialists in Aerospace Medicine may practice in a variety of different settings such as airlines, aircraft manufacturers, civilian Federal government agencies, military services, or universities. Clinical practice may vary from a traditional primary care setting to very unique occupational medicine in harsh environments with environmental hazards such as noise, heat, cold, low pressure, toxic chemicals, radiation, and vibration. Specific activities may include aircraft accident investigation, aeromedical certification, clinical care, consultation work, life systems design, occupational health, regulatory activities, and space medicine. As a subspecialty of Preventive Medicine, the primary focus of Aerospace Medicine is the enhancement and promotion of health and safety of those involved in aerospace activities.

Our Logo

Our distinctive logo was designed and created by Dr. Joe Ortega and Dr. Bill Sneeder. The logo represents our far reaching medical specialty with five elements: the Wright flyer that represent our aviation roots and where we have been; a futuristic air/space vehicle with a prominent contrail representing the advancement of flight; a background of stars and the Earth that represents commitment to aviation and space activities; and lastly a stylized wooden propeller to substitute for the traditional wand of Hermes in the caduceus that reflects our medical profession. The motto for the Society is "Infrenatus terrarum" or "unbound to Earth", which further represents that our practice is not a traditional clinical practice.