What does the medical examination consist of?

Pilot MedicalThe civil aviation medical examination is not much different than your routine annual physical examination with your family physician. It is not meant to replace your annual examination so please continue to follow up yearly with your family physician. Particular attention will be paid to your vision and other details that are important for safe piloting of an aircraft.

For example, your vision will be checked without correction, with glasses and with contact lenses separately, as applicable. To allow your eyes to adjust quickly, do not wear your contact lenses to your appointment. You will be asked to put them on during the examination. Your vision will be checked at the standard 20 feet from the chart as well as with a near vision reading test with a card held 40 cm from your eyes.

You will also have your colour vision checked using a test called the Ishihara plate test. This test involves identifying numbers or patterns from a book displaying various colour patterns. Do not worry if you see a page with no image or line on it, some pages are meant only for those with colour deficiencies.

You will need to provide a urine sample for routine dip stick testing, particularly for urine sugar. It is not a drug screen.

You may have an electrocardiogram (ECG) done during the examination. There is no need to make a separate appointment for this at a laboratory. If you have a previous ECG handy, bring it with you for comparison. There is a separate fee to have this done and interpreted. Whether you need an ECG done depends on the category you are applying for, your age, medical history and whether it is your initial application.

Audiograms (hearing tests) may be required for certain classes of medical certification. This test is currently being done via the audiologist’s office within the same building as your appointment. Efforts will be made to have both appointments on the same day to save you an extra trip. There is no extra charge for this at present.

The rest of the medical examination is much the same as with your family physician. Female applicants do not have to have a pelvic examination, however, breast examination may be required. There is a female registered nurse present for all female examinations. Males may have to have a rectal examination to evaluate the prostate gland depending on clinical history and age. Please feel free to discuss any concerns or reservations regarding components of the examination with the physician.

Lastly, the physician will document identifying marks/scars, tattoos in the event that they are required for identification following an incident. No photographs will be taken.


What do you need to bring to your medical examination appointment?

To make your examination and application process as seamless as possible please bring the following documents and/or items to your appointment:

  • All medications, including over the counter medications that you are currently using
  • Driver’s licence (for identification purposes at your initial appointment)
  • Summary of your past medical history from your family or specialist physicians
  • Last audiogram (if available)
  • Last ECG (if available)
  • Last fasting blood work results (if available)
  • Last vision prescription from your optometrist/ophthalmologist (if applicable)
  • Your eye glasses
  • Your contact lenses (NOTE: do not wear your contact lenses to your appointment, you will put them on during the examination)
  • Your current medical certificate (if applicable)