This page belongs to: Australian Space Agency

Flight surgeons

Learn about a career as a flight surgeon.

Flight surgeons support the health, safety and wellbeing of astronauts.

Flight surgeons are specialised doctors assigned to manage and oversee the health of aerospace personnel like astronauts or pilots. Mission crews have very specialised health and medical needs.

Space travel poses particular health hazards around weightlessness, travelling at speed and exposure to extra-planetary radiation, among other factors. Therefore, managing their health is not just about nutrition and exercise. It’s also about managing the challenges of living and working in these extreme conditions.

Flight Surgeons are among the most specialised doctors in the world. Even though Australia doesn't have its own astronaut program, flight surgeons are in demand in the aviation industry. As more players enter the aerospace field, these opportunities will grow.

Study pathway

Medical practitioners can become flight surgeons by completing training with the Australian College of Aerospace Medicine.

Degrees in the following study areas may also be relevant to becoming a flight surgeon:

  • medicine and surgery
  • biomedical sciences.

A number of universities in Australia offer degrees in medicine. Visit individual university websites for more information.