For Pilots and ATCS
Why is this evaluation necessary?
There are certain medical and psychological conditions that have the potential to interfere with an airman’s or air traffic controller’s ability to safely conduct the responsibilities of his or her position. Therefore, the FAA may request a neuropsychological evaluation to further evaluate the potential for problems related to various medical or psychological issues. A list of these conditions can be obtained from faa.gov.
What is a neuropsychological evaluation?
A neuropsychological evaluation is a comprehensive assessment of your behavior, emotions, and thinking. It involves the administration of questionnaires and tests of memory, language, attention, problem-solving, thinking speed, visual perception, reaction time, and personality. Pertinent records are reviewed and a comprehensive interview about your medical, psychological, educational, legal, social, and family history will be obtained. All these data are combined to provide you and the FAA with objective and comprehensive information about your strengths and weaknesses. Please review the following document for more information about the neuropsychological evaluation. https://theaacn.org/adult-neuropsychology/
What is the CogScreen-Aeromedical Edition?
The CogScreen is a computerized test battery that was specifically designed to provide assessment of skills that are predictive of problems related to aviation. Even though it is called a “screen,” the CogScreen has been shown to provide information about thinking and motor skills related to flying that other traditional measures do not. Some conditions require only the administration of the CogScreen, as long as performance on the CogScreen is acceptable. Administration, record review, and report writing usually takes about 5 hours.
What about Attention Deficit Specific Evaluations?
In August 2023, the FAA released Fast Track evaluation for ADHD evaluation. You can find more information here https://www.faa.gov/ame_guide/media/ADHD_fast_track_eval_general_info.pdf. To qualify for Fast Track you must meet all of the following criteria:
1) You have taken no medication for ADHD in the past 4 years;
2) you have had no symptoms of ADHD in the past 4 years; and
3) you have no history of any other psychiatric condition, including, but not limited to, personality problems, substance abuse, mood disorders, or anxiety disorders.
Each of our neuropsychologists is available to perform the comprehensive consultation and record review to determine if you meet criteria for ADHD. If there is evidence of the disorder, Dr. Hamilton can perform the standard battery with you if you choose to proceed.
If you are referred for suspicion of attention deficits, you will be given a shorter half-day battery of tests. Depending on your performance, you may be required to complete a longer full day evaluation. ***YOU MUST ARRANGE TO HAVE A URINE DRUG SCREEN THAT INCLUDES AMPHETAMINE AND METHYLPHENIDATE ON THE DAY OF TESTING***It is your responsibility to ensure that I have a copy of your drug test results.
Will you tell me what you found?
In most cases, you will receive direct feedback regarding the results of your evaluation and empirically-based treatment recommendations to treat any problems that were identified. Occasionally, however, the evaluation is ordered by an employer, insurance company, or other third party. In this event, I may not be able to disclose the results of the evaluation. If this is the case, we will discuss the issues prior to administration of any part of the evaluation.
Why do I have to participate?
You can choose not to participate in this evaluation. However, you should realize that this decision could result in consequences to you, including loss of employment and revocation of medical certificate.
Who will learn of the findings?
In most cases, no information regarding my findings will leave my office without your expressed, written consent. If the evaluation is ordered by an employer, insurance company, or other third party, I may be required to release some information if you proceed with the evaluation. At the time of the evaluation, I will request your permission to communicate my findings with the FAA and your aeromedical examiner. Expect that any information released to the FAA is discoverable (meaning that it can be subpoenaed and obtained in the event of legal actions related to you). Some clients request that I release my findings to their treating physicians or mental healthcare providers as well. I will be happy to do so with your written permission.
How much does this cost?
My fee is $300/hour. I accept Visa and Mastercard. Individuals paying with check or cash will receive a 3% discount. Afull evaluation of this nature takes roughly two days to complete. This includes our direct face-to-face time as well as thetime it takes to score, interpret, and report the results, review your medical records, and integrate them into thecomprehensive report.
Who pays for the evaluation?
In most cases, you pay for the evaluation. The FAA will not pay for your evaluation. In addition, it is not appropriate for me, or any other provider, to accept health insurance to pay for an FAA evaluation. The contracts of health insurance companies state that the benefit is to be used to support your health. In other words, insurance only pays if the evaluation is medically necessary. Pilots’ licenses are used for education, enjoyment, or employment; therefore, these evaluations are never considered medically necessary. If the evaluation is ordered by an employer, insurance company, or other third party, this party is responsible for the fees.
When do I pay the fees?
I will collect $3000 at the time of service. The remainder will be collected when the evaluation is completed.
How do I schedule an appointment?
Call (858)693-3113 to make an appointment. Ask to schedule an aeromedical evaluation. Fax a copy of your notification letter from the FAA to (858)312-8460. You may also email a copy to [email protected]. The purpose of this step is to ensure that you are receiving the type of evaluation required by the FAA. This step will help you avoid paying for unnecessary services or omitting crucial information.
What do I do to prepare for the evaluation?
First, try to get a good night’s sleep for a few nights before the scheduled evaluation. Second, if you are commuting to the evaluation, arrange your travel so that you do not have to drive a long distance the morning of the evaluation. Third, bring glasses, hearing aids, and snacks for the evaluation. We will take a lunch break so you can opt to bring your own lunch or eat out. Fourth, call and talk to me about the evaluation with your questions and concerns. I recognize that this is a stressful process. My office will do everything in our power to make it less so. Finally, complete the forms that will be sent to you after you schedule and bring them to the appointment.
How do you get my medical records?
I must have your certified FAA Medical File. You can obtain it by calling (405)954-4821 and selecting option 4 then option 3. If there are any other medical or personal records that you feel will help me form an objective opinion of your case, I would appreciate them as well. Please send relevant medical records at least two weeks prior to evaluation. There is no extra charge if records are sent after that time; however, I issue reports within 30 days of the evaluation or medical records receipt, whichever occurs later.
Who makes the final determination regarding my flight/employment status?
The team of doctors at the FAA will make the final determination regarding your flight status based on the findings of the evaluation that I conduct.