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Louis H. Bauer and the origins of civil aviation medicine

Louis H. Bauer and the origins of civil aviation medicine

Aviation Space and Environmental Medicine 83(12): 1181-1183

With the passage of the Air Commerce Act in May 1926, civil aviation safety became a federal responsibility under the Department of Commerce (DoC). In November of that year, Louis Hopewell Bauer (1888-1964) became the DoC's first Aviation Medical Director. After earning his medical degree at the Harvard School of Medicine in 1912, Bauer joined the U.S. Army Medical Corps, where he helped develop the role of the military flight surgeon and then served as director of the Army's School of Aviation Medicine. Upon taking the federal position, he undertook to define medical standards and examination frequencies for civilian pilots and identifiy disqualifying conditions that could compromise a pilot's ability to operate an aircraft safely. Bauer also personally selected 57 private physicians (soon to be known as Aviation Medical Examiners) distributed across the country to give medical examinations for pilot licenses. Bauer subsequently played a leading role in organizing the Aviation Medical Association in 1929.

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Accession: 054181825

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PMID: 23316548

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