Tips for selecting an AME in my area? (Minneapolis)

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Re: Tips for selecting an AME in my area? (Minneapolis)

Postby drseti » Sun Jan 27, 2019 9:48 am

Similarly, when the Basic Med NPRM came out, a lot of AMEs filed comments in opposition. Do you think they maybe had a financial incentive for doing that?
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Re: Tips for selecting an AME in my area? (Minneapolis)

Postby 3Dreaming » Sun Jan 27, 2019 1:12 pm

TimTaylor wrote:You're the one arguing for an FAA medical. I'm saying forget the FAA medical. You have not presented one logical reason to continue with doing FAA medicals if you don't need to. My recommendation to all pilots not flying for hire, regardless of age, is never have another FAA medical if you qualify for Basic Med (or fly with Sport Pilot privileges, fly gliders, balloons, blimps, powered parachutes, etc).


Tim, I am not arguing for a FAA medical over BesicMed! I have said in this thread that the OP should absolutely do BasicMed if he did not need a medical for any other reason.

What I did say is that for a person under 40 the a FAA physical is a better choice financially, not that everyone under 40 should get a FAA physical instead of BasicMed. You can not argue that an exam every 4 years will be cheaper than one every 5 years. In addition for a person under 40 it is also less hassle and less time consuming to do a FAA medical every 5 years compared to BasicMed. These are facts, and not a argument that a FAA medical is a better choice for everyone. By the way, saving time, money, and hassle are logical reason, even if you don't agree with them.

For someone over the age of 40 BasicMed is the best choice hands down if you don't need a FAA medical.

I'm not a line in the sand, one size fits all kind of guy. I like to look at the overall picture. For someone under 40 in good health I will put it out as an option. The choice is ultimately up to them.

Personally I don't share in your picture of doom and gloom in regards to the risk of getting a FAA medical for someone under the age of 40. Is there risk? Sure there is risk. There is risk in everything we do. Some risk you need to give serious consideration, and some you except almost automatically. For someone under the age of 40 the risk of having an unknown disqualifying issue is really, really, small. The FAA agrees. This is why they changed the duration of the third and first class flight physicals for the under 40 age group. The third class physical they extended from 24 calendar months, to 36 calendar months, ultimately 60 calendar months. The FAA wouldn't have changed the duration if the risk hadn't been almost non existent. A person in this age group needs to weigh the extremely small risk against the time, hassle, and added expense of BasicMed.

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Re: Tips for selecting an AME in my area? (Minneapolis)

Postby TimTaylor » Sun Jan 27, 2019 1:22 pm

Otto wrote:What Tim keeps saying. If you qualify for basic med or fly stuff that doesn't require a medical never get another medical. There is no upside to the gamble. A local AME gave a basic med bashing educational speech to pilots, I don't know him, only heard what he told friends. Doing third class medicals won't pay off med school loans but they can be a nice semi-retirement gig. Keep that in mind when an AME suggests a third class medical for nonpro pilots who qualify for basic med.

Exactly. Go to your doctor and get a Basic Med exam for free, covered by your health insurance, and zero risk.
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Re: Tips for selecting an AME in my area? (Minneapolis)

Postby 3Dreaming » Sun Jan 27, 2019 3:06 pm

TimTaylor wrote:Exactly. Go to your doctor and get a Basic Med exam for free, covered by your health insurance, and zero risk.


That is a pretty big assumption. ACA compliant coverage does not require the policy to provide free annual physicals, so it will depend on your policy. Plus you need to figure that over 27 million of the non elderly population has no health insurance, and add on top of that the insurance coverage that doesn't meet ACA standards. Things are different out here in middle America compared to the idealized view of how it is.

I edited my post, because it was reported to the admin as providing false information. I changed the post to make it more clear that the ACA does not provide insurance, and that ACA compliant policies do cover a physical, but they are not required to be provided annual physicals free of charge. I do my best to provide factual information, and in haste did not use the proper words to convey what I was trying to say. I apologize if what I posted misled anyone.
Last edited by 3Dreaming on Mon Jan 28, 2019 10:38 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Tips for selecting an AME in my area? (Minneapolis)

Postby TimTaylor » Sun Jan 27, 2019 3:12 pm

The Affordable Care Act is not insurance. It is a law with many benefits. I suspect most people who are pilots have very good health insurance. If you are renting airplanes or own an airplane, I certainly hope you would first pay for good health insurance for you and your family. But if not, go get a Basic Med exam and pay for it every four years.

DO NOT lecture me about how things are in America.
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Re: Tips for selecting an AME in my area? (Minneapolis)

Postby TimTaylor » Sun Jan 27, 2019 6:00 pm

TimTaylor wrote:
Otto wrote:What Tim keeps saying. If you qualify for basic med or fly stuff that doesn't require a medical never get another medical. There is no upside to the gamble. A local AME gave a basic med bashing educational speech to pilots, I don't know him, only heard what he told friends. Doing third class medicals won't pay off med school loans but they can be a nice semi-retirement gig. Keep that in mind when an AME suggests a third class medical for nonpro pilots who qualify for basic med.

Exactly. Go to your doctor and get a Basic Med exam for free, covered by your health insurance, and zero risk.

And, if you don't have insurance, or your insurance doesn't cover wellness exams, from age 16 to age 40 you can pay for 5 FAA exams or 1 FAA exam followed by 5 Basic Med exams.
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Re: Tips for selecting an AME in my area? (Minneapolis)

Postby Otto » Sun Jan 27, 2019 6:16 pm

The financial angle is a nonstarter. A doc in a box doing a basic med every 4 years is going to be cheaper than an AME doing a third class every five. My basic med exam was free done during my covered annual physical, I emailed the AOPA explanation to my doc a week early and asked if he would do that, he said bring the paperwork. If you aren't covered for a free physical and the basic med exam cost the same as a third class the risk for saving 20 bucks every 4-5 years still doesn't make sense. If there is a hitch with the basic med exam, sort it out with your own doc or find another, or fly SP, if there is a hitch with your third class it gets expensive and or disqualifying.

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Re: Tips for selecting an AME in my area? (Minneapolis)

Postby 3Dreaming » Mon Jan 28, 2019 11:44 am

TimTaylor wrote:And, if you don't have insurance, or your insurance doesn't cover wellness exams, from age 16 to age 40 you can pay for 5 FAA exams or 1 FAA exam followed by 5 Basic Med exams.


Don't be misled, a wellness exam is not a physical.

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Re: Tips for selecting an AME in my area? (Minneapolis)

Postby TimTaylor » Mon Jan 28, 2019 11:46 am

3Dreaming wrote:
TimTaylor wrote:And, if you don't have insurance, or your insurance doesn't cover wellness exams, from age 16 to age 40 you can pay for 5 FAA exams or 1 FAA exam followed by 5 Basic Med exams.


Don't be misled, a wellness exam is not a physical.

I used the term "wellness exam" to mean an annual physical. But if your insurance doesn't cover it, it doesn't matter what you call it.
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Re: Tips for selecting an AME in my area? (Minneapolis)

Postby 3Dreaming » Mon Jan 28, 2019 1:27 pm

TimTaylor wrote:
3Dreaming wrote:
TimTaylor wrote:And, if you don't have insurance, or your insurance doesn't cover wellness exams, from age 16 to age 40 you can pay for 5 FAA exams or 1 FAA exam followed by 5 Basic Med exams.


Don't be misled, a wellness exam is not a physical.

I used the term "wellness exam" to mean an annual physical. But if your insurance doesn't cover it, it doesn't matter what you call it.


A person needs to be careful in choosing their words. I had a post reported for providing false information because I used a poor choice in words to convey what I meant. Thanks to the Admin for restoring the edit function I was able to go back and correct my post.

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Re: Tips for selecting an AME in my area? (Minneapolis)

Postby TimTaylor » Mon Jan 28, 2019 1:41 pm

TimTaylor wrote:
TimTaylor wrote:
Otto wrote:What Tim keeps saying. If you qualify for basic med or fly stuff that doesn't require a medical never get another medical. There is no upside to the gamble. A local AME gave a basic med bashing educational speech to pilots, I don't know him, only heard what he told friends. Doing third class medicals won't pay off med school loans but they can be a nice semi-retirement gig. Keep that in mind when an AME suggests a third class medical for nonpro pilots who qualify for basic med.

Exactly. Go to your doctor and get a Basic Med exam for free, covered by your health insurance, and zero risk.

And, if you don't have insurance, or your insurance doesn't cover wellness exams, from age 16 to age 40 you can pay for 5 FAA exams or 1 FAA exam followed by 5 Basic Med exams.


Note: A wellness exam may or may not be the same as a complete annual physical exam. In this post, I am using the term "wellness exam" to mean a complete physical exam. The point of the above post is obvious, regardless. If your insurance does not cover an annual physical exam, you can pay for FAA exams or Basic Med exams or a combination of both. I'm sorry the continuous harassment directed at me is detracting from the purpose of this thread.
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Re: Tips for selecting an AME in my area? (Minneapolis)

Postby foresterpoole » Mon Jan 28, 2019 1:47 pm

My two cents is this: BasicMed is the way to go if you don't need a 2nd or 1st class. Here is my reasoning: my doctor knows my medical history much better than an AME that saw me last 4-5 years ago at one point in time and read a form. My regular doctor knows I am a pilot, he knows I prefer to stay away from certain medications that may be disqualifying and works with me (as best he can) to ensure I take medications that are compatible with flying, if not he stresses the importance of staying on the ground until I am off the meds (and how long that should be). The AME only sees me at one point in time, my doctor knows my complete medical history: good, bad and ugly. When my blood pressure started creeping up (thanks to work and family issues) we talked about medications, efficacy, and compatibility with flying. He even went on the FAA website with me and we looked at what we could use to treat it and still keep me safe, healthy and in the air. It was a non-event and he is more than happy to perform BasicMed when my 3rd class expires. I have been made aware some doctors will not perform BasicMed because of liability, I guess I can understand that. My doctor is also the company doctor who performs DOT physicals for truckers, so I am a very little spec on his liability, I guess that makes me lucky. I am also comfortable with him and his staff, going to an unknown doctor who I don't know, and who could really mess up my hobby makes me a bit nervous and the blood pressure goes up as a result. My home pressure is usually 117/75, at my doctors office or work it's 130/85, during my 3rd class it was 145/90! I'll take a more relaxed comfortable environment any day of the week!
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Re: Tips for selecting an AME in my area? (Minneapolis)

Postby 3Dreaming » Mon Jan 28, 2019 2:43 pm

foresterpoole wrote:My two cents is this: BasicMed is the way to go if you don't need a 2nd or 1st class. Here is my reasoning: my doctor knows my medical history much better than an AME that saw me last 4-5 years ago at one point in time and read a form. My regular doctor knows I am a pilot, he knows I prefer to stay away from certain medications that may be disqualifying and works with me (as best he can) to ensure I take medications that are compatible with flying, if not he stresses the importance of staying on the ground until I am off the meds (and how long that should be). The AME only sees me at one point in time, my doctor knows my complete medical history: good, bad and ugly. When my blood pressure started creeping up (thanks to work and family issues) we talked about medications, efficacy, and compatibility with flying. He even went on the FAA website with me and we looked at what we could use to treat it and still keep me safe, healthy and in the air. It was a non-event and he is more than happy to perform BasicMed when my 3rd class expires. I have been made aware some doctors will not perform BasicMed because of liability, I guess I can understand that. My doctor is also the company doctor who performs DOT physicals for truckers, so I am a very little spec on his liability, I guess that makes me lucky. I am also comfortable with him and his staff, going to an unknown doctor who I don't know, and who could really mess up my hobby makes me a bit nervous and the blood pressure goes up as a result. My home pressure is usually 117/75, at my doctors office or work it's 130/85, during my 3rd class it was 145/90! I'll take a more relaxed comfortable environment any day of the week!


I guess I'm lucky, because my primary care physician is also my AME. He is also a pilot that comes and hangs out at the airport. He has even brought his sphygmomanometer to check my blood pressure in my normal work environment.

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Re: Tips for selecting an AME in my area? (Minneapolis)

Postby 3Dreaming » Mon Jan 28, 2019 3:50 pm

TimTaylor wrote: I'm sorry the continuous harassment directed at me is detracting from the purpose of this thread.


Tim, I have been nothing but civil. Just like you I have a strong opinion, but I don't see things as black and white as you make them appear in your post. I have made no personal attacks. I have not acted aggressively! I have not tried to intimidate you in any way! I have simply presented my view in an open forum. Just because my view is different that yours does not mean it is any less valid, and certainly doesn't make it harassment. My actions on this forum come no where near meeting the definition of harassment.

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Re: Tips for selecting an AME in my area? (Minneapolis)

Postby TimTaylor » Mon Jan 28, 2019 9:53 pm

I'm not making anything black or white. I'm RECOMMENDING that no pilot EVER get an FAA medical unless there is a reason he/she NEEDS to. The only exception I would make to my RECOMMENDATION is if he/she can get a pre-exam that rules out any issues before actually taking the official exam and he/she has been assured by the AME he/she will pass the FAA medical with no problems. I'm not sure that's even possible because things can show up during the exam that were not evident during a preview of the application, etc. That's not black or white, it's simply MY RECOMMENDATION. Even in that case, I RECOMMEND he/she go with Basic Med if they qualify for Basic Med.

This is my RECOMMENDATION. Nobody needs to agree with me.
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