Docs Vigorously Oppose Driver’s License “Medical”

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dcstrng

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“The tone of the discussion [during the discussions leading up to the AMA vote] verged on disrespectful to pilots. One AME, he said, asked during his testimony, `Have you seen those guys hanging around the airport? You need me to make sure they are safe to fly.’ The comment, McCoy said, was greeted by laughter from those in attendance…”

See: AMA Vote Reveals Dirty Secret of 3rd Class Medical | Flying Magazine
 

tspear

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Actually on BeechTalk there is a long thread about this. A few points the docs make:
1. AMA does not represent doctors. In fact less then 10% of doctors are members of AMA.
2. Very few doctors actually make money doing AME work. Most look to break even and cover the costs and do it because they are pilots and want to help other pilots.

Tim
 

dcstrng

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Very few doctors actually make money doing AME work. Most look to break even and cover the costs and do it because they are pilots and want to help other pilots.
I'm guessing this is 100% correct; regrettably the AMA is usually seen as the political/professional voice -- whether representing the majority or not...
 

TFF

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money is not made for class 3. Commercial grades With EKGs and Airline guys have to get verification medicals for the union/airline, too. Class 1 pilots at the Airline level will have at least 3 $500-1000 exams. The docs pay attention if you fly for a living. Someone who just wanted a Class 1 medical with a private only dose not get the same attention as an ATP. Example is a friend who is a doc ,went to get his Class 2 and on the side he started using his CFI instead of just being a private pilot with more ratings; that changed the whole attitude of the exam he said.
 

Topaz

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Actually on BeechTalk there is a long thread about this. A few points the docs make:
1. AMA does not represent doctors. In fact less then 10% of doctors are members of AMA.
2. Very few doctors actually make money doing AME work. Most look to break even and cover the costs and do it because they are pilots and want to help other pilots.
As such, I suspect the group's objection has more to do with CYA concerns for the benefit of the organization, rather than preserving some revenue source for their members. They don't want to be part of the list of people who said, "Yeah, sure, dump Class 3 and go with DL's", if something actually does go wrong. Organizations - and professional organizations in particular - have one overriding priority: Protect the organization.
 

Vigilant1

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It would be interesting to compare:
1) Man-years of life saved due to the Class III medical requirement.
2) Man-years of life spent by all US pilots in driving to these medical appointments, waiting in the office, getting the exam, filling out the paperwork, earning the money to pay the doc, etc. And add in any mortality/morbidity from road accidents going to/from appointments.

I'd bet 2) is higher.
 
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