www.wingsmagazine.com

Features Safety
Scott: Fudging the Physical

Is he being responsible to either himself or his passengers?


October 1, 2007
By John R. Scott

Topics

It was another six-month medical for Cee Pee. His 40th birthday had
been in April so now, according to the GTC (Gods of Transport Canada)
the risk factor of having some sort of medical problem is likely to be
twice as much as it would have been before, because of some actuarial
data.

The
thing he wondered was whether he should advise the Civil Aviation
Medical Examiner (CAME) about his last visit to his family doctor when
he had been complaining about all too- frequent headaches and his blood
pressure was now at 140/95. Fortunately, the prescription of 10 mg of
Zestril had brought him back down to 125/85. Cee Pee hadn’t bothered to
tell his family doctor that he was a pilot – after all, he hadn’t
asked, so why tell him? Cee Pee also chose not to include this
medication on the annual medical form for his Airline Transport Pilot
Licence. He knew that the urine test wouldn’t disclose anything and
that the CAME wouldn’t ask any questions that he would have to openly
lie about. After all, he has a mortgage on his new house and his eldest
kid goes to university this year. He couldn’t tell that he was anything
different than he was before or after taking the Zestril. But is he
being responsible to either himself or his passengers (AIP 3.4)?

There
are some 750 certified CAMEs across the country. They issue
approximately 58,000 medical certificates to holders of aviation
personnel licences. They are the initial ‘line of inspection’ and have
taken recurrent training courses in aviation medicine provided by
Transport Canada. Is the aviation medical different from the normal
medical that one would undergo as a CEO or whatever?

The CAMEs
may appear to be somewhat aloof as they conduct their review, but the
questions they ask have the potential of revealing a considerable
amount about the interviewee: How he disrobes in preparation for the
physical is actually an opportunity for the physician to view the ease
with which he moves, bends, etc.