David Nickerson, MD, urgent care physician at Sheridan Memorial Hospital, has completed the necessary training through the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to become an authorized Aviation Medical Examiner (AME) for second-and third-class pilots. Dr. Nickerson completed the FAA Aerospace Medical Certification Division training in Oklahoma City and has passed the national certification exam.
An AME is a physician designated by the FAA and given the authority to perform flight physical examinations and issue aviation medical certificates if the applicant meets FAA standards. There are approximately 6,000 AMEs nationwide; there are only 10 in Wyoming.
While all pilots must receive some type of health assessment before flying, the levels of certification vary. Generally, the first-class certification is designed for airline transport pilots; second-class for commercial pilots, including corporate aviators, crop dusters and charter pilots; and third-class for student, recreational and private pilots.
For pilots seeking a flight physical medical certificate, the process requires a physical exam, in addition to testing to assess mental, neurological and general health. A vision and hearing test is also performed, as well as a urinalysis to check for diseases or other potential medical conditions.
Dr. Nickerson is board certified in Emergency Medicine and has worked in Emergency Medicine, Urgent Care, and Occupational Health at Sheridan Memorial Hospital for the past eight years.