As I haven’t been flying for some time I needed to take my arse in for a flight physical and get the AME (Aeronautical Medical Examiner) to sign off on a medical certificate.You just don’t fly without a med cert. and if ,for whatever reason,you don’t have one then you shouldn’t be in the air.There are quite a few things that can disqualify you from getting a med cert (and thereby grounding you) and the fairness of those exclusions is another topic entirely but it is the law of the land.
Back in the Long Ago I recall having to take Army ‘physicals’ both before and after certain NCO schools.This usually entailed a hung over Medical Officer taking the the odd hit of O2 as we marched in (quietly) and circled a table.This fulfilled Irish military physical requirements at the time.It demonstrated that we were capable of remaining upright,possessed gross and fine motor skills (try marching silently sometime) we could see and hear and that we did have a pulse….each.
Now I’m not saying that the AME examiner wasn’t thorough.Not saying that at all.I would never say that about a man who has a framed Colt .45 pistol over his desk…..I mean would you? I am saying that it just felt perfunctory.That’s all Doc….is that thing loaded by the way?
We could say that about interactions with a lot of medical professionals but I somehow expected more from this guy.Maybe he was feeling his age (he is not a young man) or perhaps he’s not too keen on women flying when there’s a perfectly good kitchen going vacant.Maybe he’s like that with everyone but I ,as I said, expected more from a doctor with an office in a fecking aircraft hangar.
I suppose I’m spoiled with having real living,human connections with other doctors and professional people in my life.I’m not suggesting we cross any boundaries but it is very easy to maintain excellent working relationships and still have time for a cup of tea.I’m a huge fan of this shift towards a more holistic approach to all things. When I say ‘holistic’ think osteopath as opposed to allopath.Just want to be clear on that.Just because I like being asked “How are you?” instead of “what brings you in today?” doesn’t mean I don’t believe in hard science and the scientific process. Physics,maths and engineering keep planes in the air after all.That’s my belief system.Nothing else is wanted or needed.
Except maybe a little eye-contact and ackowledgement as a person every now and again.