Episode 25: NASA Flight Surgeon Sean Roden


Dr. Roden brings his Texas tales to share:

  • His assessment whether or not Beth could be medically qualified for space flight
  • Why increased exercise helps space travel
  • How growing up on a west Texas ranch allowed him to become the perfect medic for the Royal Flying Doctor Service in Australia 
  • How he works to support “rock star” NASA astronaut Christina Koch’s 11-month mission on the International Space Station

Key Takeaways:

  • Every astronaut can call their physician directly on the phone if needed- and every astronaut gets space sick (the space “funnies”). 
  • Getting the astronauts back home and with their family is the main priority once they return from space
  • The twin study results may predict one’s (human) ability to travel to Mars or farther 
  • **Internships within the space industry are available NOW- go find one! 

“If I can do it, anybody can do it. To go from cowboy to NASA flight surgeon- just don’t give up! I failed multiple times! It was not an easy road. When opportunities arise, take advantage of them!” 

NASA Flight Surgeon Dr. Sean Roden 

Show Notes Bonus Links:
Dr. Sean Roden’s Bio on Texas Flying Doctors:



About Dr. Sean Roden: 

Dr. Roden is a unique physician who cares about his patients’ overall health. Dr. Roden is a world-renowned physician who has provided health care to many unique individuals, with adventurous lifestyles and done so in austere locations.

Best known for his work as a NASA flight surgeon, he helped support and train many astronauts for both short and long duration missions to the NASA International Space Station.

Early in his career, he worked with the Royal Flying Doctor Service and the Northern Territory Rural Health Department. He was selected as the expeditionary physician for the Admunson –Scott South Pole station for the austral summer of 2012-2013.

He returned to UTMB/Wyle laboratories as a flight surgeon in 2013. He supported expedition 42 as deputy flight surgeon then was selected to be a NASA flight surgeon in clinical medical operations in 2015.