Posts Tagged ‘flying’

A New Branch of Medicine

November 21, 2011 1 comment

Have you ever wondered what life would be like in the sky? How different it would be or what challenges we’d face? Now, more than ever, is a good time to start thinking about that. An article titled Challenges in Aerospace Medicine Education talks about this new branch of medicine that world  should pay close attention to.

This article basically talks about the difficulty in aerospace medicine, research and training. The article quotes that aerospace medicine and training represents a dream for many and a challenge for most. Firstly, aviation medicine is defined as a preventative medicine in which the patients are people like pilots and aircrews. This field of medicine focuses on the diseases that people in flight related medicine are susceptible to.

Aviation medicine, whether we know it or not, is a up and coming expanding job market. Some of these occupations include and flight surgeon or an aviation medical examiner. Back to the article, the issue here is that not enough research is being done on this limited pool of patients. Since aviation is fairly new, there is a great potential for much to be discovered. Aviation medicine is a lot more evident in the military than with everyday civilians, especially in Canada. As compared to the United Kingdom, which has had aviation medical training since 1945, the United States and Canada are extremely far behind. Why is aerospace medicine research so limited in North America? The main reason is the lack of familiarity with the field. Another reason is the resources for this kind of research are limited and scarce. Lastly, there is no funding or responsibility on this raw medical field. The government especially would rather spend money on something they know works, such as conventional medicine.

Although I found this article to be rather interesting,  I don’t understand the reasoning that they can’t conduct research because there isn’t enough information about the field.  The whole point of research is so that we can learn more about it. But at the same time private institutions wont want to fund an unknown field. There’s so much uncertainty to be taking that kind of chance. In addition I think since aerospace medicine is such an emerging field and nowadays so many people fly on a daily basis, research is something that should thoroughly be considered. Maybe one day we could be even operating in the air or in space.