AME Experience

Hi everyone,

Thanks in advance for reading this and any responses! I am pursuing PPL before making a firm commitment to ATP, and I recently went to an AME that was suggested by my flight school but was shocked by the experience and type of questions the doctor asked me (I.e., "Do you have tattoos, etc).

I was prepared for the regular questions as I do have a medical history (that is resolved) that I knew would have to be addressed and had no issues with that. However, the office was not what I considered professional (cramped, he had several appointments that seemed to be running at the same time, and he also had a “law office” sign on the door), did not bother introducing himself and even physically turned me around for the eye exam and made rude comments throughout it as well.

The entire exam lasted maybe ten minutes, and I left speechless. I will mention this is only for a third class medical, not even first class.

Given his behavior, I am not comfortable with him as a doctor and was curious if it is possible to see a different AME after seeing a first one. I will continue with him if necessary, but I would rather have an AME that genuinely cares about the exams he is giving.

I admit I should have looked him up before going to my appointment as he has many bad reviews stating similar experiences, but as he was suggested by my school, I trusted their opinion. I should have used my better judgement and simply cancelled my appointment when I arrived and had my doubts, but this is where I am at now.

Thank you in advance for any help or suggestions. It is much appreciated!


That really depends where you are in the process? Anyone is free to change AMEs as they like but if you had your exam and were either deferred or denied its not that simple (otherwise everyone would go shopping AMEs after the fail an exam). If that’s the case I believe you need to let the process play out (but you could contact the FAA to confirm).

That all said I am curious why if you’re considering ATP (or becoming a professional pilot) why you would only go for your Third Class medical? While that’s all that’s required, if you’re going to have an issue its far better to know long before you invest a great deal of time and money.


Hi Adam,

Thank you so much for your reply! He asked me to get some more paperwork. I haven’t had a ‘confirmed’ deferred or denied, just that I need to come back with more information. I had a cardiac ablation over a year ago, and he wanted more information from my cardiologist. I’ve fully recovered from my PVCs (Pre-ventricular contractions), but as I’m only 31 I can see the desire for that.

And as far as only going for third class, I simply didn’t realize how much I’d enjoy flying once I started! My original plan was just my PPL, but as I’ve started flying and meeting other pilots, I’ve come to enjoy it a lot more. I’m a college graduate with a decent paying full-time job so I wasn’t anticipating considering a career change at the time. As I’m sure a lot of people on this forum will agree, it turns out that flying is a lot more fun and interesting than cubicle life!

Thank you again!


I am not an expert on this at all, but you probably need to stick with the same AME until you are either issued or desired a medical. Check with the FAA for clarification on this though.



I believe in the FAA MedXpress website you can see the pending results, of your medical. Tory mentioned this newer feature months ago as the FAA implemented it. I don’t believe going to a new AME would speed up the process, the only suggestion I would have is either the MedXpress site or contacting Oklahoma City directly for inquiries about medicals.