ON FINAL
Reminders for Making AME Exams Smoother and Easier

Air Line Pilot, January 2003, p.55
By Dr. Robert Gordon

A pilot, when preparing to under-go a flight physical, can make the examination by the aviation medical examiner go more smoothly and easily by heeding the following reminders:

"The AMEs want you to pass your medical exam. We know how important it is to you to continue to fly (most of us are pilots, too). If you have any problems, the ALPA Aeromedical Office, the AME, the FAA, and your personal physician will work with you to resolve them."

 DO NOT forget your eyeglasses.

 Make sure you have had a recent eye exam and glasses, especially if your near/far vision has changed.

 If you have a Special Issuance medical certificate,

bring your Special Issuance letter from the FAA with you to the exam,

mail in, by the required date, all necessary medical information the FAA has asked for, and

bring to the exam all the medical information outlined in your Special Issuance letter.

 Do not forget to tell your AME if you have any of the following 15 disqualifying conditions:

1. diabetes mellitus requiring hypoglycemic medications;

2. angina pectoris;

3. coronary heart disease that has been treated or, if untreated, that is symptomatic or clinically significant;

4. myocardial infarction;

5. cardiac valve replacement;

6. permanent cardiac pacemaker;

7. heart replacement;

8. psychosis;

9. bipolar disorder;

10. personality disorder that is severe enough to have repeatedly manifested itself by overt acts;

11. substance dependence;

12. substance abuse;

13. epilepsy;

14. disturbance of consciousness without satisfactory explanation of the cause; and

15. transient loss of nervous system function(s) without satisfactory explanation of the cause.

 Bring all required medical records from your personal physician regarding any chronic medical condition (examples: hypertension and asthma).

 If you have borderline high blood pressure, see your personal physician for evaluation and treatment before your AME medical exam.

 Avoid coffee, decongestants, cigarettes, or any other stimulants before your exam. Any of these could raise your blood pressure.

 If you have a family history of diabetes mellitus (or other familial diseases), you will need to have periodic checks with your personal physician before the AME medical exam.

 If you have a family history of diabetes mellitus, you should be sure to avoid eating or drinking large amounts of sugar before undergoing the exam. Urinalysis will show positive sugar if you have consumed large amounts before an exam.

 If you are taking a prohibited medication on a regular basis, mark that fact on Section 17b. under medications.

 Do not forget your Statement of Demonstrated Ability (SODA) (example, color vision defect).

The AMEs want you to pass your medical exam. We know how important it is to you to continue to fly (most of us are pilots, too).

If you have any problems, the ALPA Aeromedical Office, the AME, the FAA, and your personal physician will work with you to resolve them.

We AMEs want you to be happy pilots and leave our offices with your medical certificates in hand.

Dr. Robert Gordon, D.O., is affiliated with the Family & Sports Medical Center in Plymouth, Mich.