From the days of World War I until the 1950s, practitioners of aviation medicine were concerned only with the problems of flight within the earth's atmosphere. Since humans have ventured farther, however, aviation medicine has advanced to include space. Now, physicians who complete residency training and pass a board examination are certified by the American Board of Preventive Medicine as specialists in aerospace medicine.
Herein, we discuss four areas of major concern in the 1990s: certification and medical standards for pilots, air medical transport, passenger health and safety, and medical research in space. A major objective of aviation medicine is the prevention of aircraft accidents through appropriate medical screening and certification of trainees and pilots, both civil and military. Of particular concern is any medical condition or drug use that could result in sudden incapacitation or subtle impairment in flight, eg, mitral valve prolapse and cardiac arrhythmias and the use
Rayman RB, Davis JR. Aviation Medicine. JAMA. 1994;271(21):1657-1658. doi:10.1001/jama.1994.03510450029015