Rochester, Minnesota Clinical Profile


The research activities of Clayton T. Cowl, M.D., are diverse and involve a variety of topics within aerospace and transportation medicine, as well as research into the conditions that are caused by or exacerbated due to environmental or occupational exposures.

Focus areas

  • Aerospace safety and altitude physiology. With a laboratory in the Mayo Clinic Hyperbaric and Altitude Medicine Program, Dr. Cowl's research focuses on testing emergency oxygen delivery systems utilized on commercial and private aircraft, analyzing crash data from general aviation aircraft, and studying efficacy and quality assurance of forensic pilot evaluations.
  • Environmental and occupational lung diseases. Studies involving occupational asthma and acute toxic inhalations are a research interest, as well as asbestos-related lung disease and other occupational pneumoconiosis.
  • Medical education. Dr. Cowl's research efforts have been aimed at leading Mayo Clinic training courses and providing test preparation material for health care providers across the nation. The courses involve performing federally mandated medical examinations for commercial truck and bus drivers.

Significance to patient care

Everyone is touched by the transportation industry — whether traveling on a commercial airliner, consuming goods from a local store or buying gas at the pump. Commercial vehicles transport billions of dollars of goods and hundreds of millions of people each year. Research involving the health of drivers and pilots as well as devices, such as emergency oxygen masks on board vehicles, is vital to the safety of roads and airways. Additionally, to maintain a healthy workforce, research is crucial in areas such as inhalation of toxic fumes, exposure to dusts and other occupational exposures.

Professional highlights

  • President, Civil Aviation Medical Association, 2014-2016
  • Board member, Regents of the American College of Chest Physicians, 2010-2016
  • Elected to the International Academy of Aviation and Space Medicine, 2013
  • Leadership Council, National Business Aviation Association, 2012


Primary Appointment

  1. Consultant, Division of Preventive, Occupational and Aerospace Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine

Joint Appointment

  1. Consultant, Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine

Academic Rank

  1. Associate Professor of Medicine


  1. Fellow - Pulmonary & Critical Care Medicine Mayo School of Graduate Medical Education, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine
  2. Fellow - Preventive Medicine/Environmental Health/Occupational Medicine University of Iowa
  3. MS - Preventive Medicine & Environmental Health University of Iowa
  4. Resident - Internal Medicine University of Iowa
  5. MD Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
  6. BS - Chemistry; Minor Journalism Pacific Lutheran University

Clinical Studies

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