ROCHESTER, Minn. — Beginning Monday, May 1, private and recreational pilots across the country operating certain light aircraft will be able to seek medical qualification through BasicMed, a new pathway offered by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Mayo Clinic will be one of two organizations in the nation to offer a course necessary to obtain this alternative medical qualification.
Mayo Clinic’s Aerospace Medicine program has finalized an agreement with the FAA to provide the free online medical education course for pilots pursuing BasicMed qualification. The course is set to launch the same day that BasicMed goes into effect.
“BasicMed will transfer some of the liability for recognizing and assessing medical conditions with the potential for inflight incapacitation to the pilot,” says Clayton Cowl, M.D., chair of Mayo Clinic’s Division of Preventive, Occupational and Aerospace Medicine. “Our multidisciplinary team has worked together to provide valuable information that pilots will be able to incorporate into their own self-assessment prior to every flight. We emphasize that risk is something to be managed, and that the pilot and his or her health is the most important part of the safety chain.”
The online medical course is one part of the required steps for pilots seeking qualification through BasicMed. Pilots must first obtain a physical examination from a state-licensed physician and a signed attestation from a physician that he or she is physically fit to fly.
In addition to the conversations a pilot may have with his or her doctor in the physical exam, Mayo Clinic’s online course is a resource for pilots to learn and recognize the signs of certain health conditions that may affect his or her ability to fly. The course is separated into six topical modules outlined in the legislation that led to the creation of BasicMed. These areas include conducting medical self-assessments, warning signs of serious medical conditions, mitigating medical risks, awareness of prescription and over-the-counter drugs, the importance of regular medical examinations, and details regarding requirements on pilots if a medical deficiency exists.
The course, which takes approximately 90 minutes, is followed by an online examination. Pilots must undergo the physical exam prior to taking the course and will submit evidence of the passed physical exam online prior to beginning the online course.
Dr. Cowl will host a Facebook Live event on Tuesday, May 9, to discuss BasicMed and Mayo Clinic’s course.
Beginning May 1, Mayo Clinic’s online medical education course can be found by visiting the FAA’s BasicMed website. Direct questions regarding Mayo Clinic’s course or BasicMed requirements to email@example.com.
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Kelly Reller, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 507-284-5005, firstname.lastname@example.org