January 26, 2017
Berry Selected as New Federal Air Surgeon
Michael A. Berry, M.D., M.S., has been selected as the new Federal Air Surgeon at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Office of Aerospace Medicine, in Washington, DC. He had been serving as Deputy Federal Air Surgeon since 2014 and succeeds James Fraser, M.D., M.P.H., who retired.
Dr. Berry was born in 1946 in San Francisco, CA. He received his M.D. degree from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas in 1971. After a general surgery internship in the United States Air Force at Wilford Hall USAF Medical Center, Lackland AFB, TX, he took the primary course in aerospace medicine at the USAF School of Aerospace Medicine, Brooks AFB, TX. He then spent 4 years as a fighter squadron flight surgeon in Madrid, Spain, and England. While in Madrid, he was flight surgeon to both the 98th Strategic Wing and the 613th Tactical Fighter Squadron and Chief Physician for Remote Radar Sites in Spain. He was also a member of a special accident investigation team, and commander of a transportable hospital during NATO exercises.
After a year as a flight surgeon at RAF Lakenheath, UK, in 1976, Dr. Berry entered his residency in Aerospace Medicine at Ohio State University in Columbus, OH, and received his Master’s Degree in Preventive Medicine in 1977. In 1978, he was certified by the American Board of Preventive Medicine in Aerospace Medicine. Following his residency, he became the Chief of the Flight Medicine Clinic at the NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston, TX, where he was responsible for the screening and selection of new astronauts, clinical and preventive medicine for the astronauts and their dependents, and participated in the medical certification and training of astronauts for spaceflight, as well as medical monitoring during flight. In addition to participating in the extensive medical preparations for the first flight of the Space Shuttle, he served as a member of the Flight Control Team for the first two flights of the shuttle Columbia. On leaving NASA, he entered into private practice of aerospace medicine with Preventive & Aerospace Medicine Consultants in Houston, TX. He has been a Senior Aviation Medical Examiner for the FAA since 1979. He is also an Aviation Medical Examiner for Transport Canada. In 2006, he accepted a Senior Executive position with the FAA in Washington, DC, where he was the Manager of the Medical Specialties Division at FAA Headquarters. He was appointed Deputy Air Surgeon in 2014 and was then named Federal Air Surgeon in January 2017.
Dr. Berry is a Past President and Fellow of the Aerospace Medical Association and a Fellow of the American College of Preventive Medicine. He was also past Vice-President of the Civil Aviation Medical Association and a past President of the International Academy of Aviation and Space Medicine. He served as a Board Member and Trustee of the American Board of Preventive Medicine and as the Vice-Chair for Aerospace Medicine for the Board from 1990 through 1998. He has also served as President of the Society of NASA Flight Surgeons. He is a member of the Space Medicine Association, the Society of U.S. Air Force Flight Surgeons, and the Wilderness Medical Society.
Dr. Berry is the recipient of numerous national awards, including the Air Force’s National Defense Service Medal (1971); AsMA’s Julian E. Ward Memorial Award (1979) and the John A. Tamisiea Award (2004); the Physician’s Recognition Award of the American Medical Association (1979 and 1982); NASA’s Special Achievement Award (1980); and the First Shuttle Flight Achievement Award (1981). He has several academic appointments, including Adjunct Assistant Professor of Aerospace Medicine at the University of Texas School of Public Health in Houston, TX, and Visiting Lecturer in Space Medicine at the USAF School of Aerospace Medicine at Brooks AFB, TX. He has published numerous articles in professional journals and chapters in major textbooks including a chapter on Civil Aviation Medicine in the standard textbook “Fundamentals of Aerospace Medicine.” He is also a member of the Space Medicine Branch of the AsMA, the American College of Preventive Medicine, the Society of U.S. Air Force Flight Surgeons, the Society of NASA Flight Surgeons, and the Wilderness Medical Society.