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For anyone interested in the journey to becoming a pilot, starting the process can be fairly daunting. You've already decided that you'd like to start flying. You know that there needs to be a medical examination. Texas AeroMed is the place to get the examination done. Over and over, you will hear that use of checklists are very important, and in the medical examination and certification of pilots it's no different. There are 5 items on the checklist:

First, go to MedXpress and click 'Request an Account'. If you already have an account, start a new application.

Second, fill out the entire application and submit it. At the end of the application, you will be given the opportunity to save/print out your application. You will also be given a confirmation number. Both the saved file (in pdf) and confirmation will be used in scheduling with Texas AeroMed. Be honest in your answers, and if this is not your first application, you must disclose the same things that you have on prior applications.

Third, go to the Texas AeroMed site and schedule an appointment for your exam. The cost of the exam is $175. You can come back here for a reference of the next checklist item.

Fourth, complete the examination. It will consist of a brief question/answer about the items on the application followed by a physical exam. The examination is a regulatory one as opposed to one done at a patient visit in an outpatient setting. This means that we are trying to meet a set of criteria that the FAA has deemed permissible to issue a medical certificate. That is all. Yes, we must have an explanation for 'yes' answers to all questions on the application form, but this does not in any way mean that an applicant will automatically be denied a certificate! More to the point, the FAA is able to certify pilots in need of special issuance at a greater than 90% rate. There are also medical conditions that are now certifiable in-office which may speed your time back to flying. CLICK HERE for the list of medications of which the FAA have deemed medical certificates non-issuable at the time of examination (we'll work with you on sending the proper information to the FAA). If you feel the need for consultation about your ability to be certified for a medical certificate from the FAA, consultation-only appointments are available. Of course, this is a rarity as >95% of applicants are issued their medical certificates in-office, at the end of the examination.

Fifth, Go Fly! It's the reason you've started and continued the journey! Enjoy the privileges that your pilot certificate has afforded you to educate yourself in all things aviation.

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Dr. Harris is an FAA-Designated Senior Aviation Medical Examiner. He is also an instrument-rated certified flight instructor in both single and multi-engine airplanes with advanced and instrument ground instructor certifications. 

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