Two pilots in a cockpit prepare for takeoff.

Mayo Clinic Aerospace Medicine offers one-stop care by providing all services available at one location in Rochester, Minnesota. This means you can get testing, procedures and evaluations efficiently, at one place.

Scheduling of services is well coordinated, so what might take months in another setting may be done in a matter of days at Mayo Clinic. We provide the latest in diagnostic and treatment technologies — from the highest resolution imaging devices, through advanced AI integration. Through innovation in the medical field, we are continually implementing new services to ensure pilots get the most advanced health care available.

Aerospace Medicine at Mayo Clinic is carrying on a tradition begun in the 1920s. At that time several Mayo Clinic doctors served as the first pilot medical examiners for the Civil Aeronautics Board — the precursor to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Many of the faculty members of our team today have civilian and military flight experience.

Our doctors have expertise in the fields of aerospace and altitude medicine, hyperbaric medicine, internal medicine, occupational medicine, clinical psychiatry, substance addiction, and pulmonary medicine. Our multidisciplinary approach to medical care provides pilots with the expert advice they need to make informed decisions.

Preparing for your aerospace medicine appointment

Getting your medical certification to fly is an important event. Here's what to bring to your examination:

  • Photo identification (driver's license, passport or employer/student identification).
  • A current list of all medicines (prescription and nonprescription) including doses and how often you use them.
  • A list of all visits in the past three calendar years to a physician, physician assistant, nurse practitioner, psychologist, clinical social worker or substance abuse specialist. Include the date, name of provider, clinic and address, type of health care professional, and reason for consultation. (Routine dental, eye and FAA examinations may be excluded.)
  • Any letters from the FAA indicating specific tests or procedures to perform, including Special Issuance Authorizations (SI), or Statement of Demonstrated Ability (SODA) certifications.

For most people, the flight physical takes about two hours. Registration and completion of screening visual and auditory acuity can be accomplished within an hour. The examination by your Aviation Medical Examiner (AME) will require a second hour. In cases of medical conditions that require Special Issuance or deferral to the FAA, your AME may need additional time.

Nov. 21, 2023