What is a pilot medical certificate?
As you know (or will soon find out) flying is a fascinating and enjoyable experience, whether done for business or pleasure. Flying has the potential, however, for serious consequences if not done properly and carefully. Just as it would be foolish to fly in an aircraft that is not airworthy, it would be foolish to fly as, or with, a pilot who is medically compromised.
Annual inspections are performed on all aircraft to assure that they meet minimum safety standards. Routine medical exams accomplish the same goal for pilots. When an aircraft successfully completes an annual inspection, the inspector endorses in the logbooks that the aircraft is airworthy. Similarly, when a pilot successfully passes the flight physical, the physician endorses the medical certificate which the pilot then carries with him/her each time he/she flies. This is then evidence that the pilot has met the medical standards for aircraft operation.
A person who meets FAA airmen medical standards, based on a medical examination and an evaluation of medical history, is entitled to a medical certificate without restriction or limitation other than the prescribed limitation as to its duration. Individuals required to hold a medical certificate must have it in their personal possession at all times when exercising the privileges for which they are licensed.
Aviation Medical Examiners (AMEs) are physicians who are authorized to issue medical certificates if the applicant must meet the medical standards. Find an AME for me.