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University of Alberta study to determine how pilots view healthcare

May 3, 2021  By Parth Patel

Researchers at the University of Alberta have undertaken a study to examine the healthcare seeking and aversion behaviours of Canadian pilots. All Canadian pilots and student pilots are invited to participate in the study by completing a brief, anonymous survey (here) until May 15, 2021.

The researchers aim to source firsthand experiences and anecdotes on maintaining medical fitness from holders of an aviation medical.

Prior studies in America have shown that the strict medical fitness requirements of being a pilot may be contributing to a pilots fear of seeking healthcare. This hesitance may be arising from a multitude of reasons; from fear of getting grounded and losing a primary source of income, to the potential future implications of having a medical condition on their record.


All Canadians, pilots included, deserve proper medical care. If pilots are not able to openly share pertinent medical information, they may be receiving less than the standard of care and having their personal care negatively impacted as a result.

However, the Canadian and American aeromedical systems do differ. While Transport Canada and the Federal Aviation Administration have similar mandates, there are considerable differences in medical licensing and accessibility to healthcare between the two countries.

BasicMed, for example, is unique to America and allows pilots to fly without holding a medical certificate or visiting an appointed aviation medical examiner. On the other hand, Canada has a universal healthcare system which is not found in America. These differences may contribute to differences in how Canadian and American pilots view and seek healthcare.

This study will shed light on a topic that is often not talked about but one that is vitally important to the safety of aviation in Canada. The study is open until May 15, 2021, and the researchers would greatly appreciate your support through completion of their survey.


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