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Does your AME get all your medical records?

It is interesting to discuss how this varies between different countries.

In Germany we had the Germanwings case which exposed a hole in the system. I don’t know if anything changed after that. I know a German pilot who says “my medical is an entirely practical matter”

In the UK, at each medical, you have to authorise the AME to get a copy of your medical records. You won’t get your medical without that. AIUI, they do request it on an initial Class 1 but not routinely on a Class 2. However, there is no central record. If say you break a leg, go to A&E, they fix you, the record for that work will be in a file in the hospital. Usually it is a paper file, and you are not permitted to see it except under strict supervision and then you can photograph it. Your GP may not ever know about the leg unless you tell him, and the AME will never find out. This means you might inadvertently fail to disclose something which later might be deemed relevant. I vaguely recall in the list of CAA prosecutions is one recent case involving supposedly deliberate nondisclosure.

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

When I was doing my Class 2 renewal in the UK, my AME found in some system(s) that I had atypical pneumonia years before.
I assume therefore that they have some access to some records.

EGTR

Due to work and moving to France, I didnt see an AME in the same country since my getting my JAA-PPL/Class 2 in the UK; after that, France then Holland, Germany, Austria and now France again but a different chap….who Ive now seen the last 2 times. Before SOLI everything went to the UK-CAA. I was about to say not anymore, but the UK accepted my French Class 2 to keep my UK-PPL valid. so off everything went this year too.

Regards, SD..

Last Edited by skydriller at 22 May 14:28

Yes, if he wants to, or at least that’s what I think is going on. My old AME got too old, and stopped practicing. He never asked for any medical records, but then I have been using him for many years. The new one asked for my medical record, which I got from my “home doctor”. But then again, what’s the big deal ? For LAPL and “sport” my “home doctor” can do the medical, and she got all the records in any case, and I got nothing to hide, I think…

ENVA ENOP ENMO, Norway

In Germany you can tell your AME whatever you want. There are no records involved as long as you don’t tell him something that draws his attention. This is at least true for Class 2 and LAPL. We have no central entity which stores medical records. Medical records are paper documents and get sent around by mail or fax just like any other official document in 2020 Germany. The records get stored wherever they get created and usually get destroyed after 10 years or so. It would therefore be hard to implement a system that gives the AME access to your records without your support. What you don’t give him, he will never get.

EDQH, Germany

Peter wrote:

Usually it is a paper file, and you are not permitted to see it except under strict supervision and then you can photograph it.

I don’t know the underlying reason, but the NHS (or the people within it) has always been extremely reluctant to let people see their own medical records.

GDPR blows it all wide open. I would go and demand a copy of everything they held on me, if I thought it would contain anything at all interesting. :-)

EGLM & EGTN

Allegedly, it was because doctors used to write sarcastic comments in the records – with abbreviations known only in the business. SHCAS = stupid hypochondriac compulsive attention seeker, etc Stuff like this but in a different context.

They do let you see the records but only once you have found out where they are held, and only under supervision because you could tamper with them.

The German situation, if still current, is hilarious. It means the aviation medical is close to worthless, especially for younger people. Basically anybody who can walk in and out can get a Class 1.

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

I don’t have medical records, at least as far as my AME knows If I needed to have some for his purposes, I’d bring them to him and would not want him making direct contact with any doctor who had actually treated me, or (probably more significantly) with insurance companies that have paid for my care and maintain/trade their own records on me. He would likewise not want that, or far that matter have any idea where to ask, as records are not relevant for a normal medical and in any special issuance circumstance he sees his job as being a paid agent for the pilot within rules of the game created by FAA. He’s an examiner, not an investigator.

Last Edited by Silvaire at 22 May 18:08

Peter wrote:

The German situation, if still current, is hilarious. It means the aviation medical is close to worthless, especially for younger people. Basically anybody who can walk in and out can get a Class 1.

In Germany you can change doctors freely, switch at any time and even go to a specialist of your choosing without ever getting a referral from a GP.

As mentioned by Clipperstorch, there are no central records of any kind. Often, even hospitals from the same company cannot access patient records from another hospital in the same company, despite them using the same IT systems.

Your GP only gets reports from specialists or hospitals if YOU told them who your GP is. Ultimately, you can filter any and all medical records. An AME seeing a medical file about you without your approval would actually constitute a felony on part of the AME!

Contrary to the UK situation described above, you have the right to access and copy any and all of your medical records at any doctor/hospital at any time, although even here some nurses/doctors make up excuses for why you cannot do so right now.

Novice pilot
EDVM Hildesheim, Germany

Peter wrote:

This means you might inadvertently fail to disclose something which later might be deemed relevant. I vaguely recall in the list of CAA prosecutions is one recent case involving supposedly deliberate nondisclosure.

I dont think in the UK this is relevant. You have a very long list of disclosures you compete when you sign the application and declaration. If you were to fail to disclose anything this would be the grounds for potential prosecution, but if you chose to deliberately fail to disclose and take other action which would leave your GP out of the loop, then its doubtful there could be any checks and balances until and unless you have an accident and whatever procedures you have had leaves a trace that you have had work or taken drugs that you failed to disclose. As I am sure most of us will have heard I know of at least one account where a commercial pilot took action to avoid any record of a particular problem and subsequent disclosure, and, I am afraid this is a risk that the system can never completely eliminate. It is no excuse, but sometimes it is troubling the hoops the system requires if you do disclose but the problem really isnt a problem – but arguably it isnt for the pilot to second guess the process. Perhaps it does mean however that so far as absolutely possible the system should deal efficiently with “problems” so there is no reluctance to disclose by anyone in any circumstances.

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