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Sharon A. Falkenheimer, MD, PhD, MPH

Sharon A. Falkenheimer, MD, PhD, MPH

Past Fellow of the Academy

Sharon A. ("Shari") Falkenheimer, MD, PhD, MPH, earned a BS in Biology from Union College, Schenectady, NY, in 1974; her MD from State University of New York Upstate Medical College, Syracuse, NY, in 1978; a Masters in Public Health from Harvard School of Public Health in 1985; and an MA in Bioethics from Trinity International University, Deerfield, Illinois in 2002.

After a post-graduate year in Internal Medicine at Wilford Hall USAF Medical Center, Lackland Air Force Base, Texas in 1979, she completed the Aerospace Medicine Primary Course and Hyperbaric Chamber Team Training at the USAF School of Aerospace Medicine (USAFSAM), Brooks Air Force Base, Texas. She served 5 years as a USAF flight surgeon before entering the USAF Residency in Aerospace Medicine. She is board certified in Aerospace Medicine by the American Board of Preventive Medicine and as a Systems Acquisition Professional by the USAF. Dr. Falkenheimer is a graduate of the USAF Academic Instructor School, the Air Command and Staff College, and an outstanding graduate of the Air War College. She is a retired USAF Colonel with over 26 years of USAF service in a variety of roles. These included squadron and wing level flight surgeon; chief of aeromedical services for a flying wing; aeromedical consultant in the research, development, and acquisition of aeromedical and aircrew protective equipment; Associate Residency Director for the USAF Residency in Aerospace Medicine; and as a medical planner, commander, teacher, and staff officer. From 1989-91, she was assigned to the Air Force Surgeon General's Office and as the sole physician at the Air Force Combat Operations Center at the Pentagon during Operations Desert Shield/Storm. From 1991-1994, she served in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Health Affairs). Her final USAF assignment was as Director, International Medical Training at USAFSAM and as Course Director for the Advanced Aerospace Medicine for International Medical Officers Course.

In 2003, President George W. Bush nominated and the Senate confirmed Dr. Falkenheimer for appointment to the Board of Regents of Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Maryland. She was also appointed by the Secretary of Health and Human Services in 2002 to a 2 year term on the Advisory Committee to the National Center for Environmental Health of the Centers for Disease Control. She holds appointments as Clinical Assistant Professor of Preventive Medicine and Community Health at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston and as Associate Faculty in the Department of Medical Humanities and Ethics at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio. She has taught in nine other nations and is lead author of the “Military Aerospace Medicine” chapter in Fundamentals of Aerospace Medicine, the standard US textbook on the subject.

Dr. Falkenheimer is a Fellow of the Aerospace Medical Association, an Academician in the International Academy of Aviation and Space Medicine, a member of the Christian Medical Association, and has served as an Associate Fellow of The Center for Bioethics and Human Dignity from 2010-2018.

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