Dr Gary N. Toups is board certified in Family Medicine (ABFM) and in Undersea and Hyperbaric Medicine (ABPM). He is currently a Fellow in Aerospace Medicine at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.
Before he attended medical school, Dr. Toups had a career as a US Air Force aviator. He began his career in the US Air Force as a Weapon Systems Officer (1982 – 1986) flying the F-111D. He then became a USAF pilot (1987 – 1995), and flew the B-52G and H model aircraft, including missions over Iraq during Operation Desert Storm in 1991. He attained the rating of instructor pilot in the B-52, and taught other Air Force pilots to fly this unique aircraft in conventional operations and nuclear deterrent roles. Dr. Toups left the active duty Air Force in 1995 to pursue a career in medicine. He earned his MD at LSU Health Sciences Center School of Medicine in New Orleans (1995 – 1999) and completed his Family Practice residency training at University Medical Center in Lafayette, LA (1999-2002). He then re-entered the United States Air Force and served as a physician 2002–2014). He specialized in hyperbaric medicine after completing the USAFSAM Fellowship in Undersea & Hyperbaric Medicine in 2008. Dr. Toups deployed four times to Afghanistan between 2009 and 2014. He flew AEROVAC, MEDEVAC, and CASEVAC missions bringing wounded US and coalition military members to hospitals in Afghanistan and Germany. Dr. Toups retired from the Air Force in 2014, and is one of only a few Air Force officers to have earned three aeronautical ratings (navigator, pilot, and flight surgeon). He had a grand total of over 3600 flying hours in over 30 types of military aircraft. He flew 153 combat sorties, accumulating over 600 hours of combat flying as pilot and medic.
Dr. Toups began his association with scuba diving and diving medicine during his first assignment to Kadena Air Base, Okinawa, Japan (2004 – 2007). As a flight surgeon, he treated many cases of diving and altitude-related DCS in the base hyperbaric chamber. After completing his fellowship in Undersea and Hyperbaric Medicine in 2008, he was assigned to the hyperbaric unit at Travis AFB, CA. There he ran the second-largest hyperbaric treatment chamber in the U.S. In 2010, Dr. Toups returned to Okinawa as the USAF hyperbaric medicine consultant for the Pacific Region, and remained there until retirement in 2014. Dr. Toups is a PADI Open Water Dive Instructor and a technical diver. Recently becoming a resident of Minnesota, Dr. Toups’ latest underwater activity includes the occasional dive under the ice.