If you’re considering a career as a pilot, you’ll need to get an FAA Medical Certificate. An aviation medical examiner performs 2nd and 3rd class flight physicals (including students). To obtain certification, applicants must first apply online and then schedule the medical exam. When preparing for the Aviation Medical Exam (AME), get plenty of rest, stay hydrated, and avoid foods and beverages with caffeine, sodium, and sugar at least eight hours prior to the exam.
The exam will begin with an overview of the health history included in your application. The intensity of each exam will depend on the pilot class the applicant is applying for. Most exams will include a check of the applicants’ eyesight (including peripheral vision, nearsightedness, farsightedness, and color vision), hearing, specific health issues and medications, review of past surgeries, urinalysis, blood pressure, and a discussion on mental health. In general, if you’re in good health, both mentally and physically, you should pass.
The medical examiner will then approve the application, deny it, or defer it to the FAA for further processing. Most people pass the exam with no problem. However, if an application is deferred it will require the applicant to obtain a special issuance medical certificate by completing the deferment process. Applicants rarely fail the exam due to a disqualifying condition. It’s important to discuss this with the medical examiner.