J.D. Polk, DO
Dr. Polk received his medical degree from the A.T. Still University in Kirksville, Missouri. After completing his residency in emergency medicine with the Mt. Sinai hospitals via Ohio University, he then completed training in aerospace medicine at the University of Texas Medical Branch. He is triple board certified in emergency medicine, aerospace medicine and Preventive Medicine.
Dr. Polk has been the Chief Health and Medical Officer of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) since 2016. Prior to his role at NASA, Dr. Polk served as the Dean of Medicine for Des Moines University’s College of Osteopathic Medicine. Dr. Polk has also served as the Assistant Secretary (Acting) for Health Affairs and Chief Medical Officer of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health Affairs and Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Chief of Space Medicine for NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, State Emergency Medical Services Medical Director for the State of Ohio, and Chief of Metro Life Flight in Cleveland, Ohio. Dr. Polk is a Fellow of the American College of Osteopathic Emergency Physicians, Fellow of the Aerospace Medicine Association, and Fellow of Extreme and Wilderness Medicine. He has received numerous awards and commendations including NASA Center Director’s Commendation, the NASA Exceptional Service Medal, the National Security and International Affairs Medal, the NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal, and the NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal.
Disclosures: Author – Space Physiology and Medicine Textbook