Specifically if I visit a doctor in Canada who is not a CAME for my regular aviation medical, do I have to tell him/her that I have a pilot's licence?

You can imagine why I'm asking. I just explained to someone that I'm supposed to mention this to any doctor I see. However, it's been ages since I've flown and I would no longer do this as I haven't even kept my medical up to date.

I've just searched the CARS and can't find any reference to this being a law. Is it possible I was told this by mistake, or as something that's just recommended? I do recall doing this once or twice and the doctor didn't just pat me on the back and say "good for you". He nodded and just acted like it was a normal thing to be told.

Not sure what tags are available, but I'm interested in answers from other countries as well.

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    $\begingroup$ It is only a requirement if the doctor is really cute. $\endgroup$ – Tyler Durden May 3 '16 at 22:06

It's not in the Canadian Aviation Regulations, but in the Aeronautics Act which enable the CARs. It's section 6.5(2), and yes, if you are a pilot, you have to advise any doctor of that fact, and they in turn must advise the "Minister" if there is a possible aviation hazard. Here it is ("Canadian Aviation Document" means your pilot licence):

6.5 (1) Where a physician or an optometrist believes on reasonable grounds that a patient is a flight crew member, an air traffic controller or other holder of a Canadian aviation document that imposes standards of medical or optometric fitness, the physician or optometrist shall, if in his opinion the patient has a medical or optometric condition that is likely to constitute a hazard to aviation safety, inform a medical adviser designated by the Minister forthwith of that opinion and the reasons therefor.

(2) The holder of a Canadian aviation document that imposes standards of medical or optometric fitness shall, prior to any medical or optometric examination of his person by a physician or optometrist, advise the physician or optometrist that he is the holder of such a document.

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks. It's always interesting to see how hard it is to figure out the law. There's so many documents to look at to find the right one. Note this answer contradicts the one I accepted. I also never learned nor do I remember being tested on the Aeronautics act. $\endgroup$ – brian Dec 17 '16 at 3:55
  • $\begingroup$ @brian you could probably visit a doctor in another country, in which case Canadian laws would no longer apply $\endgroup$ – JonathanReez Nov 28 '18 at 0:17

In the US, you are not required to inform a doctor that you are a pilot. However, on the application for a medical certificate (Form 8500-8) you must list all "visits to health professionals" in the last three years, including type of professional and the reason for the visit.

The medical examiner uses that information to guide questions to ask about your medical history: a yearly checkup with your family doctor will not be remarked on, while a visit to a specialist might invite scrutiny about that area of your medical status. Depending on any existing conditions, you may need a letter from your primary doctor explaining your condition, but you would specifically ask for this rather than expect it to be provided.

  • $\begingroup$ What about Canada? $\endgroup$ – Scary Spice Mar 29 '15 at 14:07
  • $\begingroup$ I'm not familiar with Canada's regulations - just answering the last point, about other countries. $\endgroup$ – NathanG Mar 29 '15 at 16:51
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks, I find the regulations are very similar between the 2 countries. $\endgroup$ – brian Mar 30 '15 at 3:38

You don't have to.

The reason is because you do have to tell your CAME about everything at your next aviation medical exam anyway.

The reason you are not required to tell your doctor that you are a pilot is because section 602.02 and 602.03 of the CARS give you the responsibility to not fly if your medical condition or drug you are taking renders you not fit to fly.

There is contact info for Civil Aviation offices and they can help you with that determination: Civil Aviation offices.

The CARS are available at one big 4mb web page here.

602.02 No operator of an aircraft shall require any person to act as a flight crew member and no person shall act as a flight crew member, if either the person or the operator has any reason to believe, having regard to the circumstances of the particular flight to be undertaken, that the person (a) is suffering or is likely to suffer from fatigue; or (b) is otherwise unfit to perform properly the person’s duties as a flight crew member.

  • $\begingroup$ That's true, but what about in the interim? Say I'm prescribed Oxy or something. A commercial pilot will have the company's policies or doctor to guide him, as a private pilot, you're suggesting I would have to figure out for myself if it was legal and wise. $\endgroup$ – brian Mar 29 '15 at 14:31
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    $\begingroup$ I didn't mean to suggest you have to figure it out by yourself, only that you are not required to tell your doctor that you are a pilot. 602.02 and 602.03 give you the responsibility to not fly if your medical condition or drug you are taking renders you not fit to fly. There is contact info for Civil Aviation offices and they can help you with that determination: tc.gc.ca/eng/civilaviation/opssvs/cam-offices-886.htm $\endgroup$ – Scary Spice Mar 29 '15 at 14:59
  • $\begingroup$ I added your comment as part of the answer since it added extra information. It's in peer review, but I think you can fix it or roll it back if it's not to your liking. $\endgroup$ – brian Mar 30 '15 at 3:37
  • $\begingroup$ @brian Looks good! $\endgroup$ – Scary Spice Mar 30 '15 at 3:40
  • $\begingroup$ Honestly, telling your "regular" Doctor that you are a pilot is quite useless. They don't have any idea what the implications are. You can inform them that everything they do will have to go through your AME for approval (if surgery or medication) and you will also use the AME for second opinions. In my experience, regular doctors like to play it safe and give you a "diagnoses" for things that you might not even have, whereas AMEs will actually take the time to do things right and verify before treatment. $\endgroup$ – Brian Knoblauch Jun 17 '15 at 16:11

In Norway all Your medical records are stored in one database. Every doctor, public or private, have access to this register, they will also add Your visit in the database. Only way to get around this database is to visit a witch doctor or see a doctor outside the country.

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    $\begingroup$ Welcome to aviation.SE! While this information is certainly interesting - I didn't know that Norway has witch doctors easily available - and even relevant, I don't think it really answers the question of whether you have to tell your (witch) doctor that you're a pilot. $\endgroup$ – Pondlife Mar 29 '15 at 19:55
  • $\begingroup$ I thought it was self explaining, if I renew my health certificate, my docktor will of cause check my medical record, then he will see I have been prescribed prozac from an another doctor 3 month ago. Beside I think my professional is recorded also, like pilot for Birdwing etc. So even the doctor that threated me 3 months ago with Prozac would know I am a pilot $\endgroup$ – Shaman Mar 31 '15 at 0:29
  • $\begingroup$ Or you simply don't visit any doctor at all. $\endgroup$ – Count Iblis Mar 31 '15 at 21:00

In the UK, like the other countries mentioned, you're not required to tell a doctor you're a pilot. However, if you have a medical problem that may impede your ability to fly, you are required to tell the CAA (the national aviation body), who will probably suspend your medical certificate until you get checked out by your medical examiner.

I've been advised by more senior pilots that you shouldn't tell doctors you're a pilot if you can avoid it. Doctors who don't normally deal with pilots are unlikely to know the criteria for a medical certificate, so may overreact to minor ailments. They might not even know that you get checked out by another doctor anyway! One colleague reported that when his doctor treated him for high blood pressure (that was still within the acceptable limit for his class 2 certificate), she got very agitated when he told her he was a pilot. She thought he shouldn't be allowed to fly with high blood pressure, and was worried that she might be required to tell someone or face legal consequences.

Even so, it might be necessary to tell your doctor for practical reasons. For example, some medications are not allowed for pilots, so you may need to explain to your doctor that they can only prescribe certain drugs or treatments for your condition, which will necessarily involve telling them you're a pilot.

Although I don't know about the rest of Europe, I would expect it's one of the things that is harmonised across the EASA region.


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