Things to Know about Aviation Medical Examiners
In 2009 the FAA Aviation Aeromedical Certification Division processed an estimated 450,000 applications for pilot medical certification. As of April 4, 2010 there are 3,575 active AMEs in the United States. The minimal number of physicals an AME must perform on an annual basis is only ten a year and eighty percent of AMEs perform 25 or less aviation medical examinations a year, with 20 percent of AMEs doing 500 or more aviation medicals a year. High volume AMEs have far more opportunity to work in the system and deal with the FAA on a regular basis and make the time to handle complex aviation medical issues. With this in mind I urge professional pilots to seek out a high volume AME to avoid errors, unnecessary delays, and mishandling of your medical certificate. Your closest AME may not always be the best choice.