Flight Surgeon
U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Grace Lee

Name: Ryan Gray, MD

Location: Boulder, CO

Specialty: Flight Surgeon and Founder of MedicalSchoolHQ

So, where do the Air Force’s elite bomber crews, fighter jet pilots and even drone navigators go when they need to see a doctor? They go see a guy like today’s guest, Dr. Ryan Gray. Ryan is an Aerospace Medicine physician, also known as a flight surgeon. As a flight surgeon, Ryan treated some Air-force’s most elite fliers. He was also responsible for evaluating their flight readiness, sometimes having to ground pilots and crew members who were not medically cleared to fly. As you can imagine, not everyone was eager to find themselves in Ryan’s clinic, fearing a medical disqualification that could literally ground their careers. We’re going to learn how Ryan navigated this challenging dynamic, and the tactics he used to build trust with his patients. We’re also going to learn how a young airman’s question sparked a new mission for Ryan, the mission he now pursues as an educator and physician entrepreneur.

Today, Ryan is the founder and CEO of the MedicalSchool Headquarters, an incredibly successful enterprise dedicated to helping students enter and succeed in medical school. He is also a fellow podcast host, with not one, but four very popular podcasts all dedicated to helping the next generation of physicians.

This was a fun and fascinating episode I think you’re really going to enjoy. With that said, let’s get started.


About Dr. Ryan Gray:









One thought on “Treating Fighter Jet Pilots and Guiding the Next Generation of Physicians: Dr. Ryan Gray

  1. I have really enjoyed this podcast and learned a great deal from it. Though I worked in healthcare for 40 years, I have very little knowledge about flight surgeons and what accomplish day to day.
    There are many things I admired about Dr. Ryan Gray. First of all, he indicated that he initially enlisted in the Air Force to cover the cost of his medical training. What he found out was that he was being asked to be a flight surgeon and receive flight training. Though others faced with similar circumstances were discouraged by this, he chose to stay optimistic and went with the program.
    After receiving his pilot license, he was required to join the air crew 4 hours per month.

    When he described his role as a flight surgeon, it was apparent it could be very discouraging. Especially, when he had to tell his patients they could no longer fly, due to a health problem they had.
    But when someone met 9/10 criteria for continuing in this role, he allowed them to go on, but at the same time focus on the one health problem they had and try to improve this.

    He understood that building relationships with his patients was very important. Many had a lack of trust for flight surgeons, when they were prevented from continuing on as a pilot re: health reasons.

    Dr. Gray described his own change in health status midway through the podcast. After being diagnosed with MS, he could continue as a flight surgeon, but could no longer be able to fly.

    What so impressed me about him was that at each stage in his career, though he may have been greatly discouraged, he was able to turn things around and focus on what he could do for others –
    ultimately, becoming CEO of Med School Headquarters. In this role he is greatly helping those considering med school or those at the beginning of their training, based on what he had experienced himself, but mostly on the advise of other professionals in this field.

    In summary, I believe that his recommendations and tips can be applied to a multitude of professions or careers. For eg., for some who did not appear to meet criteria for med school for such reasons as:
    poor GPA, failures to pass MCAT or cultural differences he did not discourage them from trying again & again. Particularly, if this was their passion. Many were able to continue on with their dream and become successful at it.

    Great podcast and inspirational and intuitive presenter!


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