Guide for Aviation Medical Examiners

Application Process for Medical Certification

General Information - Privacy of Medical Information

  1. Within FAA, access to an individual's medical information is strictly on a need to know basis. The safeguards of the Privacy Act (PDF) apply to the application for airman medical certification and to other medical files in FAA's possession. The FAA does not release medical information without an order from a court of competent jurisdiction, written permission from the individual to whom it applies, or, with the individual's knowledge, during litigation of matters related to certification.

    The FAA does, however, on request, disclose the fact that an individual holds an airman medical certificate and its class, and it may provide medical information regarding a pilot involved in an accident to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) (or to a physician of the appropriate medical discipline who is retained by the NTSB for use in aircraft accident investigation.)

    The Examiner, as a representative of FAA, should treat the applicant's medical certification information in accordance with the requirements of the Privacy Act. Therefore, information should not be released without the written consent of the applicant or an order from a court of competent jurisdiction.

    In order to ensure that release of information is proper, whenever a court order or subpoena is received by the Examiner, the appropriate RFS, or the AMCD, AAM 300, should be contacted. Similarly, unless the applicant's written consent for release is of a routine nature; e.g., accompanying a standard insurance company request, advice should be sought from FAA before releasing any information. In all cases, copies of all released information should be retained.

  2. Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) and Examiner's activities for FAA. This Act provides specific patient protections and depending upon an Examiner's activation and practice patterns, you may have to comply with additional requirements.
  3. Examiners shall certify at the time of designation, re-designation, or upon request that they shall protect the privacy of medical information.
Last updated: Wednesday, March 8, 2023