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Form 8500-8 (Part 2)

This article is the second in a five part series that will cover the most frequently asked questions concerning Questions 17a, 18, 18x, 18v, and 19 on Form 8500-8, the Airman Medical Certificate, along with a discussion concerning Article 22 of the parties’ CBA as it may relate to making changes to information provided on Form 8500-8. The last article focused on Question 17a on Form 8500-8. This article concentrates on Questions 18 and 18x on the Form.

Completion of Question #18: Medical History

This section requires significant care in completing. The instructions specify “have you ever in your life been diagnosed with, had or do you presently have any of the following…conditions?” The critical and ambiguous term “condition” is not defined anywhere on Form 8500-8. Every condition you check “Yes” to must have an explanation in the blank space below or on a separate blank sheet of paper. If the condition has been previously reported on Form 8500-8, and no interim treatment for the condition has occurred, the BUE should indicate the letter of the affirmatively answered question (e.g. “18e”.) and write “Previously reported, No change.” Once an answer has been checked “Yes” on Form 8500-8, it should always be checked “Yes” on every subsequent physical involving completing Form 8500-8.

Question #18x: Other Illness, Disability, or Surgery

The AMEs and the Regional Flight Surgeons are not interested in most childhood illnesses or surgeries or other insignificant events. Carried to an extreme, this question would require reporting colds, mumps, stitches, hemorrhoids, broken toes, and other trivial medical items from a safety perspective. An ever increasing list of conditions may be attached to the Form if this question is interpreted literally.

Given the current actions by other portions of the FAA outside the Federal Air Surgeon’s office, most notably the FAA’s Labor Relations and Human Resources, it is difficult to advise controllers on what to omit. While it is advisable to err on the side of reporting too much, a call to the Virtual Flight Surgeons offices (866-AEROMED) may help clarify reporting requirements and wording. Neither the AME nor the Regional Flight Surgeons’ offices are interested in the increased workload and documentation requirements associated with an exhaustive list of medical conditions from every BUE. Certainly those conditions that a BUE seeks medical evaluation or care for should be reported. Often, attaching a summary from the treating provider will minimize requirements to provide further information at a later date.

Virtual Flight Surgeons

You can contact the aerospace medical professionals at the Virtual Flight Surgeon (VFS) for further guidance concerning your medical situation and completing the questions discussed above. The VFS can be reached at 866-AEROMED or aviationmedicine.com.