Dept 33 Aerospace Medicine Residency

The Naval Aerospace Medical Institute (NAMI) Residency in Aerospace Medicine (RAM) is a Graduate Medical Education (GME) program for military physicians with a focus on the aerospace and other austere environments of operational military medicine.


  • Train physicians in all aspects of medical practice in aerospace, operational and austere environments.
  • Prepare and Teach physicians to apply principles of preventive health to protect military populations who are exposed to unique and extreme occupational and environmental conditions.
  • Provide a learning environment which will enable a physician to develop and manage the full spectrum of aerospace, preventive medicine and occupational health programs for military and civilian personnel.

Program Objectives

  • Train and prepare physicians to become experts with knowledge and experience in general preventive, aerospace medicine and military operational medicine.
  • Support the development of new policy and doctrine through research in aerospace and occupational medicine.
  • Support the U.S. Armed Forces by developing operational and research expertise that will facilitate the health and survival of its warfighter’s across the spectrum of operational military medicine.

Residents will work with medical organizations throughout the U.S. Department of Defense and engage in research as part of their Master of Public Health degree, which will conclude at the end of the second year of training. Following PGY-3, eligible candidates may sit for board certification through the American Board of Preventive Medicine (ABPM). The residency has retained continued accreditation through the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) since 1995.

Residency Curriculum

Residents who are in their “Primary,” or first residency, will participate in a 36 month combined training program in Aerospace and Occupational Medicine approved by the American Board of Preventive Medicine (ABPM). The Aerospace Medicine program works closely with the U.S. Army School of Aviation Medicine (USASAM) Residency in Occupational Medicine which has independent accreditation through the ACGME.

For residents already board certified in another specialty, the aerospace medicine program for Navy Physicians is 24 months in length, focusing on aerospace medicine and preventive medicine.

All candidates must have completed their internship year (PGY-1) with at least 11months of direct patient care in both inpatient and outpatient settings are required. Candidates that have been previously designated as a Flight Surgeon are preferred but not required. All candidates must meet physical qualification standards as a Flight Surgeon in their respective service.

  • Navy Primary Residents and all Army Residents: During PGY-2 and PGY-3 residents are concurrently enrolled in the Master of Public Health Program at the University of West Florida while participating in clinical rotations. Navy residents will participate in Aerospace Medicine rotations while the Army residents will participate in the Occupational Medicine rotations. In the PGY-4 year, Navy Residents rotate in the USASAM Occupational Medicine Program and Army Residents rotate in the NAMI Aerospace Medicine Program to complete the combined training curriculum. Residents will be board eligible for either Aerospace or Occupational Medicine following PGY-3 and are generally eligible for the other exam following their PGY-4 year.
  • Navy Residents with previous board certification: During PGY-2 and PGY-3 residents are concurrently enrolled in the Master of Public Health Program at the University of West Florida while participating in Aerospace Medicine clinical rotations. Residents will be board eligible for Aerospace Medicine following PGY-3.

Through the Master of Public Health degree at the University of West Florida, residents complete graduate courses in epidemiology; biostatistics; health policy; environmental health, behavioral aspects of public health, toxicology and accident investigation/risk management and mitigation (held jointly through the Naval Aviation Safety Officer’s Course). Rotations in Space Medicine, Global Medicine, Medical Affects of Chemical and Biological Weapons, Radiation Health Indoctrination as well as the opportunity to attend the Military Tropical Medicine course and other specialized military training courses are available or required.

An internship/research project through the Master of Public Health Program is required for completion of the degree program and the residency.

Residents are expected to attend and participate in weekly academic activities including lectures and Journal Clubs. Residents are also expected to attend the Aerospace Medical Association (AsMA) scientific meeting as well as the American Occupational Health Conference (AOHC) scientific meeting during their training.

Board Certification

All graduates of the aerospace program (upon completion of PGY-3) are eligible to sit for the American Board of Preventive Medicine (ABPM) certification exam in Aerospace Medicine.

Primary residents who train in the combined training program will also be eligible to sit for the ABPM’s certification exam in Aerospace or Occupational Medicine following successful completion of the PGY-4 year. The certification exams are offered in October of each year. For more information regarding exam requirements, visit the ABPM web site.

Post Residency

The practice of Aerospace Medicine focuses on preventive medicine: the study of disease processes in defined communities or population groups and the promotion of best practices with respect to these communities that advance health and prevent disease and injury. Upon completion of the residency, Aerospace Medicine specialists are expected to be leaders in aerospace and preventive medicine practice.

There are over 50 billets for this specialty in the Navy and the Marine Corps. These include assignment as the Senior Medical Officer (SMO) on an aircraft carrier, shore assignments, administrative, teaching, preventive medicine and occupational medicine positions. Billets in the Army include aviation brigade surgeon, regional flight surgeon, academics, research, safety, and physical standards. Brigade flight surgeons supervise over 46 battalion flight surgeons and find this duty to be extremely satisfying.

After military service, opportunities are available in the civilian aerospace industry, preventive medicine, occupational medicine, public health positions at city, county, state or federal levels, in executive medicine, and in universities and for-profit or volunteer health organizations.


The Graduate Medicine Education Selection Board meets annually in early December. Navy Medical Officers should apply as early as possible using information and application forms as published in the annual BUMED Notice 1524. BUMED Notice 1524 is published in the summer of each year and it outlines the application process. It is available at the Navy Medicine Professional Development Center (NMPDC) website. Army Medical Officers should apply through the “MODS” application system; applications are accepted over the summer with results posting in December of the same year. A personal interview with the Army or Navy residency director is strongly recommended for all prospective residents.

International Students

NATO military physicians interested in residency training through the Aerospace Medicine program must apply through their respective military service, which will coordinate with the Security Assistance Officer at the U.S. Embassy. A prospective resident must be sponsored by their country’s military or their federal governments, meet proficiency requirements in the English language, and meet any other requirements stipulated by their country and the U.S. Embassy. Training positions may be limited. For further information, please contact Mr. Jim Seale, the international student coordinator, at (850) 452-2292 or

Contact Info

CAPT Joseph T. Lavan
Director, Navy, Residency in Aerospace Medicine
340 Hulse Road Pensacola, FL 32508-1092

CDR George Merrill Rice DO MPH
Associate Director, Navy, Residency in Aerospace Medicine

MAJ John Venezia,DO,MPH
Associate Director, Army, Residency in Occupational Medicine

Ms. Carrie Moore
GME Coordinator, residency in Aerospace Medicine
340 Hulse Road Pensacola, FL 32508-1092
Ph:(850) 452-3154, DSN 459
Fax:(850) 452-5194, DSN 459

*Army applicants please go to the USASAM site for more information.