ARCOM medical student selected for unique NASA internship

by Tina Alvey Dale ([email protected]) 1,163 views 

A medical student at the Arkansas College of Osteopathic Medicine (ARCOM) will intern with NASA at the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center (JSC) in Houston, Texas, before graduating later this spring.

Yevgeniy Zhivotovskiy, a fourth-year medical student, recently learned he was chosen as one of just 20 interns for the four-week program that will be held in April. He is a candidate for May graduation from ARCOM, is serving in the U.S. Navy, and has been accepted into a Family Medicine Residency at Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton in California.

The Aerospace Medicine Clerkship, offered twice annually in April and October, provides participants with formal lectures on space medicine topics, hands-on experience with the medical aspects of International Space Station operations, and insights into Exploration Medical Capability for deep space exploration. Zhivotovskiy and the other selected students are required to complete a research project and scientific poster, presenting their findings in an open forum poster session for the JSC Space Medicine Operations and clinical community, as well as other interested divisions at JSC.

As a fourth-year student who will have completed all the required clinical rotations to graduate by the start of April internship, spending four weeks at NASA will not impact or delay Zhivotoskiy’s graduation.

“My primary career goal has always been to become a competent and compassionate primary care physician. I believe that the NASA internship will enable me to connect with leaders in the medical community and gain a deeper understanding of aerospace medicine. I am thrilled to have this unique opportunity to contribute to the field of space medicine and further my understanding of aerospace healthcare. This experience aligns with my long-term goals of becoming a well-rounded primary care physician,” Zhivotovskiy said.

Yevgeniy Zhivotovskiy

Zhivotovskiy’s goals include potentially pursuing a career as a naval flight surgeon, followed by an Aerospace Medicine Fellowship. Despite his military commitments, he said he couldn’t pass up the chance to apply for the NASA internship.

An aerospace medicine fellowship is a two-year fellowship obtained through the American Board of Preventive Medicine post residency, Zhivotovskiy said.

“There are many paths to it and physicians may come from several different backgrounds. The focus of this fellowship is to ‘train academic aerospace medicine specialists who will be leaders, master clinicians, educators, and researchers advancing the field of aeromedical science and aerospace safety while expertly serving the aerospace population,’” he said. “This is something that I aspire to pursue after my three-year family medicine residency in the Navy and is separate from this upcoming internship (although it is a step towards this direction).”

Zhivotovskiy was born and spent his early childhood in Vinnitsa, Ukraine. He moved to Burleson, Texas, at the age of 11 and earned bachelor’s degrees in microbiology, biology and Russian from the University of Texas at Arlington.

“Student Doctor Yevgeniy’s achievement reflects not only his academic excellence but also his unwavering commitment to advancing the field of medicine. As a future primary care physician, Yevgeniy embodies the values of compassion and competence that we instill in our students at ARCOM,” said ARCOM Dean Dr. Shannon Jimenez.

Following his three-year family medicine residency in the Navy, Zhivotovskiy will serve a four-year service commitment per his Health Professions Scholarship Program agreement, he said.

“The aerospace medicine fellowship is separate from the Navy family medicine residency and is something I am looking to pursue down the line,” he said.