Convincing a physician to conduct a BasicMed physical

17 Replies - 7987 Views

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.
  • Bookmark

Re: Convincing a physician to conduct a BasicMed physical

Posted by Jon Gandy on Aug 24, 2017 9:05 am

Hello Everyone.

If you haven't yet, please take a minute to review AOPA's Pilot & Physicians Guide to BasicMed.  It has a great explanation for doctors of what BasicMed is, who can do the exam and how simple it needs to be.  In fact it suggests a couple of times that it be no more involved than a Sports Physical of Wellness Check.  You can find it here:

For the most part, if you fill out your medical history portion for your family doctor to review (or not if you are visiting an unfamiliar doctor and dont want to leave that info at an office that may not do the exam).  This gives them plenty of time to wrap their brain around the process.

When it comes to liability its undertandable that a doctor would be concerned.  However there are two points that we express to doctors.  First that the pilot has to attest to the fact that he is aware of the prohibition against flight during a medical deficiency.  As pilots we are fully aware that it is our responsibility to determin if we are well the day of a flight and to decline it if need be.  The doctor, as has been posted already, is certifying that he has discussed both medical history and medication as it relates to a pilots ability to operate an aircraft.  This need not go in depth with aeromedical factors.  Remember, no more involved than a Sports Phyhsical or Wellness check.  The last thing the doctor is signing off on is that he is not aware of any medical condition that, as presently treated, could interfere with the individials ability to safely operate an aircraft.  The only thing a doctor can assure is the pilots condition when in the actual exam.  After you leave his office you have 4 years before your next visit in which you could develop any number of medical issues that may lead you to self ground. If a doctor is comfortable allowing you to drive away from his office, he should be comfortable with you flying.

The other side of that coin is well expressed in Frank's post.  The doctor can simply say no.  In fact BasicMed is designed for your physician to work with you to decide/develop any course of treatment he feels is neccessary to make or keep you safe.  Thus the " presently treated..." language.  While in the majority of cases that works out just as Frank found out.  There are some cases though where that might not be possible.
Where'd he go? Hollywood said, Where'd who goooooo?

Re: Convincing a physician to conduct a BasicMed physical

Posted by J Killian on Aug 28, 2017 3:58 pm

My doctor did mine at the same time as my annual "wellness".  He had done one BasicMed before mine, so he had no problem doing mine.  Quicker, easier and far less costly than my last flight physical.  He did make a comment about the confusing language used in the FAA instructions that I gave him (just in case he was not familiar with it).which I downloaded from AOPA.  

Re: Convincing a physician to conduct a BasicMed physical

Posted by Marl Carter on Sep 5, 2017 12:22 pm

My AME declined to do it because of the liability. When they do a 3rd class medical they just fill out the forms and the FAA has the final say, and the liability. I did get it done by my trasplant surgon, and in the meantime I printed out the forms and left with my GP when I had my annual physical. hopefully in 4 years he will be willing to do it.

Re: Convincing a physician to conduct a BasicMed physical

Posted by R Faubion on Sep 6, 2017 9:59 pm

I was very nervous when I went to get my BasicMed physical. I had just moved so I was seeing the doctor for the first time. I brought all the filled out paperwork and the physicians instructions. We discussed what I needed and, to make a long story short, agreed that I would come back to do a more thorough exam, including blood work. It also gave him a chance to read up on BasicMed. When I came back, he did the physical and signed it off. Maybe I was just lucky but it was pretty painless. I am also confident that my old family doctor (before I moved) would also have signed me off. He saw me regularly and knew my history far better than the AME who talked to me for five minutes at the last two 3rd class physicals. My take is it pays to establish a relationship with a family doctor.

Re: Convincing a physician to conduct a BasicMed physical

Posted by Ronald Herold on Sep 11, 2017 8:03 am


If you are in the Washington, DC area - Dr. Lee Martin does these willingly.
Here is his contact info:

Dr. Lee Martin
437 N. Park Drive
Arlington, Va. 22203
(703) 527-1339

Dr. Martin has been my personal physician for many, many years.  He is a thorogh and capable physician with an understanding of how important these medical physicals are to us pilots.

Even if you are not in the DC area - it may be worth a short trip to DC to get this done. Dr. Martin is a short UBER ride from DCA.  You could literally fly-in in the morning; uber to/from the physical and take a flight home in the early afternoon.  While that may sound expensive, its a lot chearper than a special issuance 3rd class.

Clearly, the general physician world is not embracing this type of medical and even though AOPA keeps saying they will make a list and its like a DMV physical - reality is a far way from their rose colored glasses.


Ron Herold

-Ronald L. Herold, Ph.D., NSCA, MEII
Senior Certified Aircraft Appraiser
USPAP Qualified
National Aircraft Appraisers Association (NAAA)
Sustaining Member – Lawyer-Pilots Bar Association
EAA Lifetime Member
AOPA Lifetime Member
(703) 573-2222


Re: Convincing a physician to conduct a BasicMed physical

Posted by Rolf Wallin on Sep 14, 2017 10:01 pm

I am a physician and a pilot in Fayetteville, NC (KFAY), and I am willing to do Basic Med exams.
I can be contacted via email at

Re: Convincing a physician to conduct a BasicMed physical

Posted by Kevin Webb on Oct 29, 2017 9:10 pm

I had no issues.  I printed out my questionnaire as well as a copy of the AC and the AOPA guide for the doc to retain. I dropped it off at her office one day and scheduled my apt for a week later.  She had no issues with it and she retained the packets I printed in color for her to refer to for anyone else with the same request.  She is in Temperance, Michigan.