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Old 05-02-2018, 08:16 AM   #1  
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Default Last AME "gave me a clean slate"??

So, this has got me stressing about my medical app this year. Since I started flying 10 years ago I've been to the exact same AME every year. Except last year. First some background. When I was in college about 7 years ago I had some heart palps that were diagnosed as benign PVC's brought on by caffeine consumption and stress. I cut down on the caffeine and they improved and haven't been a bother since. Nonetheless I ticked the yes box on "heart and vascular trouble" and have religiously done so every time since, with no problems or questions in the last 6 or so medical issuances.

So last year I go to a new doc since he's closer than the one I've traditionally used. Honestly i left the appointment feeling his operation was a little sketchy. He tells me theres nothing wrong with me and that I need to stop ticking the yes box and that he's going to "give me a clean slate" in the comments. I didn't fight him on it since I just wanted to get out of the appointment but it left me really confused. I was under the impression that once you tick "yes" you have to tick it forever. A few calls to AOPA have confirmed this suspiscion.

1. Can an AME actually "give you a clean slate" from a yes box on the previous conditions section?

2. Could he have without my knowledge changed my application, or can he only add comments to it?

My biggest worry is that he edited my application to untick the heart and vascular trouble box and that when I go in for my new medical this month (back to the original doc that I liked and didn't sketch me out as much) that it will throw flags in Oklahoma city when the get an App with a box ticked and "previously reported, no change" but nothing on the last application indicating a condition. I've never had problems getting certified and am worried that this will rock the boat somehow, and I want to do the right thing and submit how I'm supposed to. Any insight?
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Old 05-02-2018, 10:06 AM   #2  
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1) Print and retain a copy of your 8500 after you fill it out online (you can just save the pdf too). This is in addition to any copy(s) the AME asks you to bring. Reference your last 8500 when you fill out the next one.

2) I'm pretty sure the AME cannot change the stuff that you submitted online. That's why the FAA does it that way now. In the past "helpful" AMEs might ask a pilot to shred his 8500 and fill out a new one with less "detail". I knew of one guy who literally had a shredder in the exam room for that purpose...

3) Yes, you should check that box forever. It asks a very simple question, with a yes or no answer.

Worst case even if it did get missed once, the fact that it was previously reported with no change would mean the FAA wouldn't get bent out of shape, if they even noticed. They only get really concerned about serious medical conditions and deliberate falsification. No concerns with falsifying a static condition which you previously reported numerous times. Don't sweat it.

But find a new AME if that one makes you uncomfortable. I would avoid switching AMEs unless absolutely necessary... the new one might open up a past can of worms that he views to be more serious than the last guy. You also have to explain all that past history again, and you never know the new guy might be unreasonably anal... don't want to have to spend time and money investigating things that other AMEs would be OK with. Also, as a pro pilot NEVER use an AME unless you have personal references from other pilots.

I drive a fair distance to keep my current AME.
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Old 05-02-2018, 11:21 AM   #3  
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What Rick said. First, PVCs absent of any aggravating circumstances (artery blockage, structural defect, etc) though annoying, really aren't even considered a serious cardiac issue. Everyone gets them from time to time; some people feel them more than others. And since you've reported them in the past it doesn't look like you are trying to hide anything. If it was something more serious, it could be a different issue.

I would defer to whatever AOPA tells you, or if you want another opinion, try AMAS (the company that contracts with ALPA). But in your case, if you did correct it I can't see them getting into a tiff about it.
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Old 05-06-2018, 12:07 PM   #4  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rickair7777 View Post
1) Print and retain a copy of your 8500 after you fill it out online (you can just save the pdf too). This is in addition to any copy(s) the AME asks you to bring. Reference your last 8500 when you fill out the next one.

2) I'm pretty sure the AME cannot change the stuff that you submitted online. That's why the FAA does it that way now. In the past "helpful" AMEs might ask a pilot to shred his 8500 and fill out a new one with less "detail". I knew of one guy who literally had a shredder in the exam room for that purpose...

3) Yes, you should check that box forever. It asks a very simple question, with a yes or no answer.

Worst case even if it did get missed once, the fact that it was previously reported with no change would mean the FAA wouldn't get bent out of shape, if they even noticed. They only get really concerned about serious medical conditions and deliberate falsification. No concerns with falsifying a static condition which you previously reported numerous times. Don't sweat it.

But find a new AME if that one makes you uncomfortable. I would avoid switching AMEs unless absolutely necessary... the new one might open up a past can of worms that he views to be more serious than the last guy. You also have to explain all that past history again, and you never know the new guy might be unreasonably anal... don't want to have to spend time and money investigating things that other AMEs would be OK with. Also, as a pro pilot NEVER use an AME unless you have personal references from other pilots.

I drive a fair distance to keep my current AME.
I drive 240miles..........each way
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Old 05-25-2018, 02:34 AM   #5  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rickair7777 View Post
1) Print and retain a copy of your 8500 after you fill it out online (you can just save the pdf too). This is in addition to any copy(s) the AME asks you to bring. Reference your last 8500 when you fill out the next one.

2) I'm pretty sure the AME cannot change the stuff that you submitted online. That's why the FAA does it that way now. In the past "helpful" AMEs might ask a pilot to shred his 8500 and fill out a new one with less "detail". I knew of one guy who literally had a shredder in the exam room for that purpose...

3) Yes, you should check that box forever. It asks a very simple question, with a yes or no answer.

Worst case even if it did get missed once, the fact that it was previously reported with no change would mean the FAA wouldn't get bent out of shape, if they even noticed. They only get really concerned about serious medical conditions and deliberate falsification. No concerns with falsifying a static condition which you previously reported numerous times. Don't sweat it.

But find a new AME if that one makes you uncomfortable. I would avoid switching AMEs unless absolutely necessary... the new one might open up a past can of worms that he views to be more serious than the last guy. You also have to explain all that past history again, and you never know the new guy might be unreasonably anal... don't want to have to spend time and money investigating things that other AMEs would be OK with. Also, as a pro pilot NEVER use an AME unless you have personal references from other pilots.

I drive a fair distance to keep my current AME.
Who is your AME rickair? Had a great guy for 10 years. He's now retired. I'm looking for a good guy, one that understands a little white coat syndrome in the office.
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Old 05-25-2018, 07:23 AM   #6  
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Originally Posted by HercDriver130 View Post
I drive 240miles..........each way
I live in Las Vegas and use my AME in Spokane. Never change Docs once you find one you trust.
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Old 05-26-2018, 06:55 PM   #7  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Willy100 View Post
So, this has got me stressing about my medical app this year. Since I started flying 10 years ago I've been to the exact same AME every year. Except last year. First some background. When I was in college about 7 years ago I had some heart palps that were diagnosed as benign PVC's brought on by caffeine consumption and stress. I cut down on the caffeine and they improved and haven't been a bother since. Nonetheless I ticked the yes box on "heart and vascular trouble" I was under the impression that once you tick "yes" you have to tick it forever. A few calls to AOPA have confirmed this suspiscion.

1. Can an AME actually "give you a clean slate" from a yes box on the previous conditions section?

The answer is yes, sort of. It is not uncommon for people to over interpret the questions. "Benign" PVCs are - by definition - not "trouble." That's sort of what benign means. He may very well have annotated "Benign PVCs only, asymptomatic, resolved, no actual cardiovascular problem" on his portion of the exam, essentially - yes - giving you a clean slate.

Quote:
2. Could he have without my knowledge changed my application, or can he only add comments to it?
He can do neither. He can only put explanatory statements referencing your yes boxes on his part of the exam. He has a read-only access to your input.

But you have an EASY fix. Call up the Regional Flight Surgeon for whatever region the exam was done in and explain to him/her your concern. He/She will then tell you how to annotate future medical history forms. And permanently annotate your record that you have been so instructed. These guys don't play gotcha for the sheer joy of playing gotcha.
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Old 05-28-2018, 10:21 AM   #8  
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The medical section is asking for your history. So if you marked "yes" once, you'll have to mark "yes" for all subsequent medicals.
There is a comment section where you can provide greater detail. Something along the lines of "previously reported" or "previously reported, no change" works well depending on the situation. I've had PVC's since childhood related to open heart surgery and have never had trouble (after initial testing and documentation) holding a standard medical.
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