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I am working on obtaining my FAA Medical Certificate and I was deferred. I received a request for more information and one of the items that was requested were medical records related to a surgery I had as a young child over 30 years ago and the records no longer exist? How can I resolve this?

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I had a very similar situation. Along with the documentation they requested that was available to me, I submitted a letter explaining my lack of the older records. This was apparently acceptable to the physician reviewing my case because I was issued a third-class medical cert. You can borrow from the verbiage I used (identifying information removed):

I am unable to provide any medical records or previous imaging related to the injury in question. I contacted the hospital that treated me, [hospital name] in [city, state], and was informed the records have been destroyed. [State] law [citation of statute] requires retention of records for “[quote document retention language from the statute].”

The injury and treatment occurred in [month] of [year]. [Hospital name] does not retain records past this requirement, and the records you are requesting were destroyed more than 10 years ago. Furthermore, the physician who treated me, [physician name], is no longer practicing.

Good luck!

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  • $\begingroup$ Thanks, this is really reassuring. I'm still trying to get ahold of either the regional flight surgeon's office or the national aeromedical certification division to get a concrete answer, but this seems pretty promising. $\endgroup$ May 12 at 20:57
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    $\begingroup$ I was able to get ahold of the aeromedical division today and they said the same thing. Officially, the best bet is to get a letter from the hospital or from your doctor saying the records don't exist, but even just writing it up yourself is often sufficient. They said they like to have them if available, but if not, they understand. $\endgroup$ May 13 at 14:10
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    $\begingroup$ I had a similar issue. The original records no longer existed, so the FAA requested a new assessment of the condition and whether any further treatment was required. The doc wrote up the history I reported and “no further treatment required”, and the FAA dropped the matter. $\endgroup$
    – StephenS
    May 13 at 17:44
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    $\begingroup$ A small tip when sending copies of your records to the FAA or anywhere else: Read every page first before you send them to ensure they are yours. I did this and found several pages from somebody else's. Remember whoever is doing the copying is just going to copy whatever is in the file which may contain mis-filed items. Or, whoever copied your records may have allowed somebody else to copy "just these few pages" and some of them ended up in your batch. $\endgroup$
    – Flynn
    May 13 at 18:37

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