Purpose: The practice of helicopter emergency medical services is variable in its mission profile, crew configuration, and transport capabilities. We sought to describe the characteristics of physician air medical directors in the United States.
Methods: We surveyed medical directors concerning their education, training, transport experience, and roles/responsibilities in critical care air transport programs.
Results: Two page surveys were mailed to 281 air medical services. Three programs merged or were dissolved. Data from 122/278 (43.9%) air medical directors were analyzed. One-hundred eleven respondents reported residency training in: Emergency Medicine (EM) 44 (39.6%), Internal Medicine (IM) 18 (16.2%), General Surgery (GS) 18 (16.2%), Family Practice (FP) 12 (10.8%), dual-trained (EM/IM, EM/FP, IM/FP) 11 (9.9%) and others 8 (7.2%). Medical directors’ roles/responsibilities consist, most frequently of: drafting protocols 108 (88.5%), QA/CQI activities 104 (85.3%), crew training 98 (80.3%), and administrative negotiations 95 (77.7%).