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Aviation Medical Examiners (AMEs) are private physicians, trained and authorized by the FAA to perform airman medical examinations and to issue medical certificates.

New AMEs are designated based upon the local demand for aeromedical certification services. Demand is determined by considering the total number of airmen in a particular location in relation to the number of available AMEs. As of 2023, the FAA has approximately 2300 civilian AME’s located in 9 regions, 312 international AMEs located in 81 countries, and 137 federal AMEs (military, U.S. Coast Guard, NASA, and other agencies). These AMEs perform approximately 480,000 medical examinations every year in fulfilling the aeromedical certification needs of about 17,000 air traffic controllers and 640,000 pilots in the U.S and abroad.

Distribution of civilian and international AMEs by specialty

56% Family Practice
19% Internal Medicine
7%   General Surgery
4%   Aviation Medicine
3%   Ophthalmology
1%   Psychiatry
10% Other

Aviation Medical Examiners are a key element in the medical certification process, ensuring that airmen meet the medical standards prescribed in the Federal Aviation Regulations and are medically fit to perform safety-related duties. AMEs play a vital role in the FAA Office of Aviation Medicine’s goal to promote aviation safety through excellence in aeromedical certification of airmen. Although most of the duties performed by AMEs are governed by Federal Regulations and Orders (directives), AMEs are not Federal employees.

Requirements AME applicants must hold a current valid medical license as an MD or DO (with no restrictions or limitations) issued by the state licensing authority in the location where they intend to perform medical examinations for the FAA. Applicants are required to provide references from three local physicians, or an official statement from their respective state licensing authorities regarding professional standing in the medical community. Applicants must be engaged in the practice of clinical medicine at an established office apress that is available to the general public. Applicants must have a properly equipped office (required equipment lists can be obtained from the local Regional Flight Surgeon’s office) to conduct FAA medical examinations.

Special consideration may be given to applicants who have been military flight surgeons, who have training or expertise in aviation medicine, or those who have been previously designated (and maintained adequate performance as an AME) but moved to a different geographical location. Upon initial designation, AMEs are authorized to perform Class II and Class III physicals only. In order to obtain authorization to perform Class I (Air Transport Pilots) physicals, AMEs must first perform Class II and III physicals for a period of at least 3 years.

Training As a requirement for designation, an AME applicant must first complete a 4 1/2-day Basic AME Seminar and Medical Certification Standards and Procedures training, and a staff member from his/her office must complete Medical Certification Standards and Procedures training. The Basic AME seminars (which currently include a workshop) are conducted four times a year at the FAA Civil Aeromedical Institute (CAMI) in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

CME The Aeromedical Education Division of CAMI has designated the Basic AME Seminar as a continuing medical education activity that is valid for 32.5 credit hours in Category I of the Physician’s Recognition Award of the American Medical Association. The FAA does not charge a fee for those attending the Basic AME Seminar and Workshop. However, applicants must pay all personal expenses (travel, accommodations, and meals) associated with their training.

AME Continuing Education To maintain designation, an AME is required to attend a 2 1/2-day Theme AME Seminar every three years. An AME’s staff member must complete Medical Certification Standards Procedures training prior to the physician’s designation as an AME, and every three years thereafter.

CAMI’s Aeromedical Education Division conducts these seminars at many locations across the country. The seminars are intended to keep AMEs and their office staff up-to-date on the FAA medical certification process, and provide a review of the latest medical and technical information and clinical examination techniques applicable to airman medical certification.

The Aeromedical Education Division has designated this Theme AME Seminar as a CME activity that is valid for 26 credit hours in Category I of the Physician’s Recognition Award of the American Medical Association. The FAA does not charge a fee for attending the Theme AME Seminar. However, AMEs and their staffs must pay all personal expenses (travel, accommodations, and meals) associated with their training.

AME Fees The FAA has not established a fee schedule. It is expected, however, that the fees charged by an AME will be commensurate with fees charged for similar services in the locality of practice.

Legal Issues AMEs are not federal employees and are not entitled to protection under the Federal Tort Claims Act. Nevertheless, if a medical-legal problem arises, an AME can obtain FAA legal advice and counsel. Regional Flight Surgeons are able to directly assist AMEs on medical certification issues where legality is a concern. If further assistance is needed, a regional FAA attorney is available to AMEs for legal counsel. Should the case or issue require an AME to be individually represented by an attorney, the AME is required to provide his/her own attorney (non-FAA) for that purpose. However, if an AME adheres to FAA’s policies and procedures regarding medical certification of airmen, there is little potential for personal involvement in litigation.

For More Information  First contact should be with the FAA Regional Flight Surgeon’s Office in the area of the country where the AME applicant practices medicine.

Aviation Medical Examiner (AME) applicationPDF


FAA Civil Aeromedical Institute
Aeromedical Education Division
AAM-400, Post Office Box 25082
Oklahoma City, OK 73125
or call (405) 954-4832 or – 6205

The Federal Air Surgeon
Michael Berry, M.D.
800 Independence Ave, SW
AAM1, Room 800 W
Washington, D.C. 20591


Federal Aviation Administration
222 West 7th Avenue #14
Anchorage, Alaska 99513-7587
(907) 271-5431, FAX (907) 271-3769

Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska
Daniel K. Berry, D.O., Ph.D.
Federal Aviation Administration
Department of Transportation Building, Room 300
901 Locust Street
Kansas City, Missouri 64106-2641
(816) 329-3250, (800) 832-6421, FAX (816) 329-3266

Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia
Harriet Lester, M.D.
Federal Aviation Administration
1 Aviation Plaza
159-30 Rockaway Blvd.
Jamaica, New York 11434-4809
(718) 553-3300, FAX (718) 997-6705

Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Michigan, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin
David Schall, M.D.
Federal Aviation Administration
2300 East Devon
Des Plaines, Illinois 60018-4686
(847) 294-7491, FAX (847) 294-7808

Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont
Paul H. Clark, M.D.
Federal Aviation Administration
12 New England Executive Park
Burlington, Massachusetts 01803-5299
(781) 238-7300, FAX (781) 238-7306

Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wyoming
Michael D. Jones, M.D.
Federal Aviation Administration
1601 Lind Avenue, S.W.
Renton, Washington 98055-4056
(425) 227-2300, (800) 233-5811, FAX (425) 227-1300

Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina,
Tennessee, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands
Susan E. Northrup, M.D.
Federal Aviation Administration
P.O. Box 20636
Atlanta, Georgia 30320-0636
(404) 305-6150, FAX (404) 305-6161

Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas
Denise L. Baisden, M.D., M.S.
Federal Aviation Administration
2601 Meacham Boulevard
Fort Worth, Texas 76137
(817) 222-5300, FAX (817) 222-5965

Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, American Samoa, Guam, Marshall Islands, Wake Island
Stephen H. Goodman, M.D.
Federal Aviation Administration
Aviation Medical Division
P.O. Box 92007
Los Angeles, California 90009-2007
(310) 725-3750, FAX (310) 725-6835

Federal: Air Force, Army, Navy, Marines, Coast Guard, NASA, Public Health and Others
Brian Pinkston, M.D., M.P.H.
Manager, Aerospace Medical Education Division
Federal Aviation Administration
P.O. Box 25082
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73125-9944
(405) 954-4832, FAX (405) 954-8016

Melchor J. Antuñano, M.D.
Federal Aviation Administration
P.O. Box 25082
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73125-9944
(405) 954-4832, FAX (405) 954-8016

David O’Brien, MD, MPH
Manager, Aerospace Medical Certification Division
6500 South MacArthur
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73169
(405) 954-7653, FAX (405) 954-3231

Aviation Safety Hotline  800-255-1111        

TSA National Response Center 866-GA-SECURE (866-437-3287)   

AMCS Hotline  405-954-3238, FAX 405-954-3917          

Exam Status  405-954-4821 Ext. 5,  FAX 405-954-4300

Special Issuance  405-954-7675, FAX 405-954-4040         

Drug and Alcohol  405-954-9260, 405-954-7662

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