Guide for Aviation Medical Examiners

Application Process for Medical Certification

Applicant History - Item 18. Medical History
Instructions for filling out Item 18 on the FAA Form 8500-8

Each item under this heading must be checked either yes or no. For all items checked yes, a description and approximate date of every condition the applicant has ever been diagnosed with, had, or presently has, must be given in the EXPLANATIONS box. If information has been reported on a previous application for airman medical certification and there has been no change in the condition, the applicant may note PREVIOUSLY REPORTED, NO CHANGE in the EXPLANATIONS box, but the applicant must still check yes to the condition.

Of particular importance are conditions that have developed since the last FAA medical examination. The Examiner must take the time to review the applicant's responses on FAA Form 8500 8 before starting the applicant's medical examination.

The Examiner should ensure that the applicant has checked all of the boxes in Item 18 as either yes or no. The Examiner should use information obtained from this review in asking the applicant pertinent questions during the course of the examination.

Certain aspects of the individual's history may need to be elaborated upon. The Examiner should provide in Item 60 an explanation of the nature of items checked yes in Items 18.a. through 18.y. Please be aware there is a character count limit in Item 60. If all comments cannot fit in Item 60, the Examiner may submit additional information on a plain sheet of paper and include the applicant's full name, date of birth, signature, any appropriate identifying numbers (PI, MID or SSN), and the date of the exam.

Supplementary reports from the applicant's physician(s) should be obtained and forwarded to the AMCD, when necessary, to clarify the significance of an item of history. The responsibility for providing such supplementary reports rests with the applicant. A discussion with the Examiner's RFS may clarify and expedite the certification process at that time.

Affirmative answers alone in Item 18 do not constitute a basis for denial of a medical certificate. A decision concerning issuance or denial should be made by applying the medical standards pertinent to the conditions uncovered by the history.

Experience has shown that, when asked direct questions by a physician, applicants are likely to be candid and willing to discuss medical problems.

The Examiner should attempt to establish rapport with the applicant and to develop a complete medical history. Further, the Examiner should be familiar with the FAA certification policies and procedures in order to provide the applicant with sound advice.

Last updated: Tuesday, August 20, 2013