On the FAA medical exam there is a conditions section and one of them is mental disorders. I have/had OCD so I have to check yes. I'm getting off my med soon and then I will have another exam, so that I don't have to check this element anymore.

I heard I could use a Special Issuance to get a medical certificate. How do I request this Special Issuance?

On the FAA website it says:

The applicant must demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Federal Air Surgeon that the duties authorized by the class of medical certificate applied for can be performed without endangering public safety for the validity period of the Authorization. The Federal Air Surgeon may authorize a special medical flight test, practical test, or medical evaluation for this purpose.

My OCD is not and was never that severe, I never had depressive episodes. I have a flight simulator and I don't repeat actions or have to check over and over again, or make sure everything is perfect; My OCD wasn't like that.

Right now I'm in contact with leftseat.com. They say they can get me a medical certificate, but nothing in the document they gave me mentions meeting a Federal Air Surgeon. I'm just really confused, as I think I need to meet one for the Special Issuance.

Could someone clarify this?

  • $\begingroup$ You don't meet with the air surgeon. They review the records, test results, etc. provided by you or your AME and make a decision on the SI $\endgroup$
    – TomMcW
    Aug 7, 2017 at 23:36

1 Answer 1


As with most specific medical questions, the only real answer here is "talk to an experienced AME, preferably one who's handled similar cases before". Some standard advice is to schedule a consultation only first, to review your case. Once you have everything organized and documented properly and your AME is confident about your application, then you can do the actual medical exam.

Having said all that, as far as I know you don't request an SI directly. If the AME determines that he can't issue a medical certificate because of a condition you have, he should work with you and the FAA to put together whatever combination of test results, documentation and general information that the FAA wants in order to issue an SI. But all of that should happen before you do the actual medical exam, to avoid delays.

If you're an AOPA member they can help you with advice and information and they have more details about the SI process. (Their medical forum is very useful too).


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