Special Assistance from Dr. Karl
It’s essential to the mission request process to provide physician’s information so AFSE can obtain a signed medical release for passengers. One of the main reasons that it’s necessary is because flying in small, non-pressurized airplanes may exacerbate some conditions.
Physicians who are not familiar with aviation physiology have an excellent resource – the option of conferring with AFSE’s own medical consultant, Dr. Karl M. Morgenstein.
Dr. Karl graduated from the University of Maryland and received his M.D. from Hahnemann Medical College. Beginning with his internship, he spent many years at New York’s Mt. Sinai Hospital and became a full-time member of the faculty at the Mt. Sinai School of Medicine. An “ear, nose and throat” specialist, he practiced in New York City and then Hollywood, Florida, until an injury ended his microsurgery career. In-depth knowledge of his specialty and aviation made him a popular writer in medical text publishing circles and garnered him a list of awards.
Dr. Karl’s knowledge of aviation comes first-hand. He served as a captain in the U.S. Air Force medical corps at Eglin AFB. In studying aviation physiology he became the most persistent right and back seater on base. Eventually, with his commercial / instrument / multiengine certification he racked up 3,000 hours. He became an Angel Flight™ Southeast pilot in the mid-80’s and flew many missions. In 1989 he founded what became Flightline Drug Testing and has continued as its Medical Review Officer after AFSE Chairman Tom Powers acquired the business.
“I’m really sad about the fact that I can’t fly Angel Flight™ Southeast missions personally any more, but I do what I can to help as Medical Liaison Officer,” says Dr. Karl. “I remain dedicated to Angel Flight™ Southeast. As a pilot, I love to fly. As a doctor, I have always been committed to helping the sick, and as a humane person, I feel that the least fortunate of us deserve a helping hand by the more fortunate of us.”
Dr. Karl believes the services of Angel Flight™ Southeast will continue to be needed. “The biggest challenge to our passengers is the progressive complexity of our medical system,” he notes. “This, compounded by a growing financial inability to access needed care, will ensure that Angel Flight™ Southeast is needed for years to come.”
Fortunately, as long as “angels” like Dr. Karl remain committed to the mission, Angel Flight™ Southeast will be there to meet that challenge.