The specialty of Aviation and Space medicine went live on 1 April 2016 when it was added to the General and Specialist Medical Practice Order. The curriculum was subsequently approved by the General Medical Council in September 2016.
Flying is now a commonplace activity with many millions of people flying each year in UK registered aircraft. However, the environment in which aircraft fly can be physiologically hostile and as a consequence adverse medical and physiological influences may be exerted upon those exposed to it. Aviation and Space Medicine is the study of all factors affecting the human body in flight, in health as well as sickness and the means by which those flying may be protected against the potentially harmful effects of their abnormal environment.
Most Aviation and Space Medicine physicians practice as general Aviation and Space Medicine physicians, but may work exclusively in the military or civilian environment. Some consultant Aviation and Space Medicine physicians practice as specialists and limit their clinical practice to a greater or lesser degree to their own clinical subspecialties. They provide specialised care and have appropriate skills and resources in a unit that provides specialist technical and clinical support. The curriculum enables trainees who wish to develop a special interest to do so, but it is expected that in future it will be possible to undertake post CCT credentialing to develop further specialist skills.
Entry into Aviation and space medicine training is possible following successful completion of both a foundation programme and a core training programme. There are four core training programmes for Aviation and Space Medicine training:
- Core Medical Training (CMT)
- Acute Care Common Stem - Acute Medicine (ACCS-AM)
- Anaesthetic Training
- General Practice Training
The curriculum for each specialty defines the process of training and the competencies needed for the award of a certificate of completion of training (CCT). The curriculum includes the assessment system for measuring trainees’ progress comprising workplace based assessment and knowledge based assessment.
Please refer to the Faculty of Occupational Medicine website for information on the knowledge based assessment in Aviation and space medicine, the Diploma in Aviation Medicine.
The ARCP decision aid for each specialty defines the targets that have to be achieved for a satisfactory ARCP outcome at the end of each training year. The ARCP decision aid for the 2016 curriculum is provided below