Convincing a physician to conduct a BasicMed physical

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Convincing a physician to conduct a BasicMed physical

Posted by Peter Quattrociocchi on Jul 10, 2017 2:24 pm

Has anyone convinced their doctor to conduct a BasicMed physical?  I can't tell if my doctor is afraid of legal consequences or protecting the income stream of the local AME.  All he says is that the community is having a conversation about BasiMed, do not want to rush into it.  It's a stinking physical!

If anyone has made a convincing argument with their physician please pass it on.
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Re: Convincing a physician to conduct a BasicMed physical

Posted by Ronald Levy on Jul 10, 2017 7:16 pm

Peter Quattrociocchi:
Has anyone convinced their doctor to conduct a BasicMed physical?  I can't tell if my doctor is afraid of legal consequences or protecting the income stream of the local AME.  All he says is that the community is having a conversation about BasiMed, do not want to rush into it.  It's a stinking physical!

From the signing physician's perspective, it's a bit more than "a stinking physical".  The physician has to sign a statement saying,

" I certify that I discussed all items on this checklist with the individual during my examination, discussed any medications the individual is taking that could interfere with their ability to safely operate an aircraft or motor vehicle, and performed an examination that included all of the items on this checklist. I certify that I am not aware of any medical condition that, as presently treated, could interfere with the individual's ability to safely operate an aircraft."

​Those highlighted statements are very open-ended and open to considerable question if it ever ends up in a legal battle.  Consider a non-flying physician's position -- what's his/her training and knowledge about aviation physiology?  The necessary capabilities to "safely operate an aircraft"?  This is a very subjective assessment which would be wide open to attack by real aeromedical experts if push came to legal shove after some kind of accident in which third parties were injured or killed and the monetary exposure is potentially in the eight-digit range.  It's a very different problem than the one faced by an AME signing a regular medical certificate who merely has to certifty that the applicant met some very clear and specific medical standards at the time of the examination, without having to pass on the applicant's fitness to fly as a pilot.  It's a big leap of faith with a lot of risk for a physician who knows little about aviation to sign the statement on the BasicMed checklist.  Some physicians are reporting that their insurers are telling them that for these reasons, their regular medical liability insurance will not cover BasicMed certifications, and it will cost them a lot more to buy coverage for signing BasicMed paperwork.

Personally, I think the situation stinks, and it's entirely the doing of Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA), who added the checklist to Senator Inhofe's orignally much simpler proposal.  The FAA had no interest at all in additing those provisions, but could not do anything about them once they were passed by Congress and signed into law by former President Obama.  I hope all you pilots in California remember this when Senator Feinstein comes up for re-election next year.

Re: Convincing a physician to conduct a BasicMed physical

Posted by Thomas Cartier on Jul 17, 2017 6:50 am

You can go to any doctor that does DMV drivers physicals to have the physical done if your doctor wont do it.  You pay for  it yourself of course, just like you would if you were taking the physical for a commercial driving job.

 

Re: Convincing a physician to conduct a BasicMed physical

Posted by Ronald Levy on Jul 17, 2017 8:02 am

Thomas Cartier:
You can go to any doctor that does DMV drivers physicals to have the physical done if your doctor wont do it.

 

Any state-licensed physician CAN do it.  This question is whether they WILL do it, and the answer seems to be "not always", and I don't know that there's any demonstrated correlation between physicians who do DMV/MVA physicals for CDL's and those who are willing to sign BasicMed forms.  You may need to shop around to find one who WILL.

​And it would be nice if AOPA set up some sort of web page where folks could post contact information (perhaps by state) of physicians who WILL.

Re: Convincing a physician to conduct a BasicMed physical

Posted by Richard Mutzman on Jul 17, 2017 8:06 am

I thought I read somewhere that AOPA is in the process of doing that.