F.A.A. Doctor, what's different then another doctor?

I’ve been asked to have a medical check-up by an F.A.A approved doctor. What does this mean? What would make this different then another doctor? Has anyone an experience with this kind of check-up, and if so what does it involve?

Thanks in advance for the illumination…

Are you doing something involving aviation?

An FAA doctor will have a specialty in aviation medicine… Basically, they’ll know the rules, and should know what you can and cannot have (medication, eyesight, blood pressures, and quite a few other things)

That’s the only FAA related doctor I’ve ever heard of.

No, nothing involving aviation…that’s what was surprising to me. It’s cruise ship related.

Okay, now we have some gaping holes to close up. Who requested this of you? Are you going to be a passenger? A cruise captain? By default, an FAA doctor is one that deals with the medical requirements of aviation. And the request does sound weird, considering that you’re not going to be involved with piloting aircraft.

As a pilot, I get to visit these guys on a regular basis.

As mentioned, they have some training in aviation medicine. The exam isn’t that much different from what you’d get from a normal checkup, although I find the eye exam a little more involved.

The cruise ship angle is a little puzzling – unless someone figures if you’re healthy enough to fly an airplane you’re healthy enough to work on a cruise ship?

Well, I’m being asked to do this by the booking agency who got me the job on the ship. They claim this type of medical exam is required by the cruise line though. While what I’ll be doing doesn’t have anything to do with the running of the ship, if there is some kind of emergency I’m expected to follow orders according to the chain of command.

I’m guessing you’re right. Also, maybe this ensures beyond any shadow of a doubt that the medical is legit. Perhaps people in the past have tried to fake their test results (this is NOT what I’m trying to do, by the way :slight_smile: ). I

Essentially they are any old MD that is willing to keep up with the required paperwork. There is some testing involved, but it is nothing compared to the medical degree…it is not like becoming a neurologist, cardiologist, or other specialty.

The one I’ve used had (I think she retired) an oncology (cancer specialist) practice. She did the flight physicals as a sideline because she was a very active aerobatic pilot, and also (I speculate) that it was a nice change for her to see “patients” that were healthy. Also the other flight physician in town was not very reputable…chain smoked while seeing patients for starters. I think the oncologist started doing it because she didn’t want her friends to have to go to the other guy.

Do your duties involve working under pressure? Part of pilot testing sometimes involve pressure chambers, perhaps that’s the connection.

I’m not sure what kind of FAA physical you’ve had…but it certainly doesn’t sound like mine! It went like this: bend over…touch your toes…touch your nose…read this chart…pee in this cup.

That was it.