Introduction: The purpose of this study was to describe the characteristics and functions of U.S. physician air medical directors. Methods: This descriptive study included physician directors of U.S. rotor-wing and fixed-wing air medical services. Data were obtained using a standardized survey in regard to the training, education, and roles/responsibilities of directors of critical care air medical services (AMSs). Results: Data from 153 of 276 surveys (55.4%) were analyzed and reported in this study. Air medical directors' residency training varied, but emergency medicine was the most frequently reported training type (38.0%). Most directors reported less than 5 years of job experience in AMS (57.3%), had neither residency/fellowship-based flight experience (63.9%) nor practical flight experience (60.5%), and performed director functions on a part-time basis (93.2%). The six most commonly reported medical director activities were medical protocol development (87.6%), quality improvement activities (86.3%), medical crew training (80.4%), administrative negotiations (79.1%), on-line medical control (71.9%), and personnel hiring (59.5%). The three most common sources of continuing education for medical directors were literature review (95.8%), attendance at medical conferences (79.2%), and participation in professional organizations (59.7%). Conclusion: These data describe the characteristics of U.S. air medical directors and identify physician contributions to patient care in the aviation environment.
- Air medical services
- Emergency medical services
- Helicopter emergency medical services
- Medical direction
ASJC Scopus subject areas