The move to the online medical application should provide more streamlined processing of medical applications at the FAA’s Aerospace Medical Certification Division (AMCD) in Oklahoma City and at the nine regional medical offices around the country. Once the application, along with any additional supporting medical records provided by the pilot, is scanned into the system, that file can be viewed and worked online by any of the regional offices as well as the AMCD. The online form will also reduce errors that were common on the paper form, including incorrect dates, questions left unanswered, data transposed, illegible writing, and unsigned applications. Because the paper form (and now the electronic form) are considered legal documents, those errors had to be corrected before the FAA could finalize the medical certificate issuance, and that process takes time away from FAA staff who could use that time to review the thousands of deferred cases awaiting a decision.
The new system will also allow pilots to print out the completed form and discuss the application with their AME before the exam is finalized. If you have a question that needs to be discussed, don’t provide that confirmation number until you’ve spoken with the doctor. Once the exam is retrieved from the system, there is no turning back; the AME either issues your certificate, the preferred outcome, or the application goes to the FAA as a deferral. As time and the federal budget allows, enhancements to the new system will permit AMEs to scan and transmit medical records electronically to the FAA instead of regular mail, adding even more efficiency to the process.
The application process is fairly straightforward, and once you get past the initial registration and set up your password, the application is easy to use. The key thing to remember is after you submit the application, click on the Exam Summary to print out a copy of the application. At the bottom of the form, you will find a confirmation number that you will need to take with you to the AME. That’s the number the AME will use to retrieve the form you submitted online. Once it is available, the AME can complete the exam and issue your medical certificate.
If you have questions, a helpline phone number is listed on the MedXPress site to speak with the FAA support staff, or if you have general questions about MedXPress, just give AOPA a call at 800/872-2672.
To learn more about the AOPA Pilot Protection Services program or to enroll, visit the Pilot Protection Services website.
Effective Oct. 1, all pilots are required to use the online medical application MedXPress to complete the FAA airman medical prior to visiting an aviation medical examiner (AME).
MedXPress was introduced back in 2007 to complement the paper Form 8500-8, with the ultimate objective of complying with federal requirements to move to electronic forms as a means of cost saving and efficiency.