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Didactic Curriculum

A Strong Foundation

APEX is only possible because of the aviators, astronauts, researchers, physiologists, and medical practitioners that laid the foundation of aerospace medicine. Therefore, it is important for any physician that participates in the practice or research of aerospace medicine and surgery to understand the fundamentals of aerospace medicine. The core didactics for APEX are based on the thoughtfully crafted American Board of Preventive Medicine (ABPM) Aerospace Medicine Content Outline that is the basis for traditional aerospace medical certification. The outline can be found here and below:

I. The Flight Environment

A. The Biosphere

B. Theory of flight

  • Aviation – fixed and rotary wing

  • Spaceflight

C. Physiology

  • Respiratory

  • Cardiovascular

  • Spatial orientation

  • Bioacoustics

  • Visual

D. Gravitational effects

  • High performance

  • Microgravity

E. Pressure effects

  • Hypobaric

  • Hyperbaric

F. Other physical effects

  • Shock and vibration

  • Thermal

  • Radiation

  • Toxicology

G. Human factors

  • Human-machine interface

  • Human performance

H. Aerospace systems

  • Vehicles

  • Ground support

  • Simulators

  • Remotely Piloted Vehicles

  • Escape Mechanisms

  • Medical Systems

II. Clinical Aerospace Medicine

A. Fitness for duty and return to work

  • Cardiology

  • Pulmonary

  • Ophthalmology

  • Otolaryngology

  • Psychology and psychiatry

  • Neurology

  • Other Medical/Surgical conditions

B. Health Maintenance

  • Wellness

  • Self-imposed stress

III. Operational Aerospace Medicine

A. Air and space operations

  • Military

  • Civil aviation

  • Space

B. Selection and retention

  • Medical standards

  • Aeromedical evaluations

  • Longitudinal surveillance

C. Aeromedical transportation

D. Survival, search and rescue

  • Crash worthiness

  • Search and rescue systems

  • Airport disaster management

E. Mishap Investigation

  • Site activities

  • Forensic considerations

  • Accident rate and data

F. Travel medicine

IV. Management and Administration

A. Regulations

  • Military

  • Civil

  • International

B. Organizations

  • ICAO

  • WHO


  • NASA

  • NTSB

Core Resources