Trans/Autism & Applying for Medical - Wait Times and Contact Numbers

Discussion in 'Medical Topics' started by Unregistered, Aug 29, 2019.

  1. Unregistered

    Unregistered Guest

    Hi, wondering if anyone on here would have more information than what is available on Reddit.

    Anyway, I have spent the last year or so attempting to obtain my first-ever medical certificate (2nd class, albeit at this point it's basically worth the value of a 3rd). I know the application was sent to Washington, DC as I've spoken to OKC multiple times over the past few weeks. However, it was not a drug or alcohol or crime issue so quite frankly I'm not sure if it is within the realm of the HIMS program. It was related to the following that I reported because I am not going to lie on a federal form!


    A: Being transgender and dealing with hormones and surgeries for that condition for over a decade (ie: Gender Dysphoria...I'm transitioned and living mostly under the radar now though, so not much of a big deal any more).

    B: Psychiatric hospitalization as a minor over 10 years ago against my will, related to being trans and coming out later than I would've wanted to after realizing transgender identity was a real thing and more than a fairy tale in my adolescent years. To be clear, I have never actually taken meds for psychiatric reasons in my life, so no decision path there. Otherwise, I'm not sure if I legally had to report this, but I did and am now dealing with it.

    C: A childhood diagnosis of High-Functioning Autism. I am under the radar with this too. Symptoms are minimal and if anything Autistic traits are just helpful for my current technical job as an engineer.

    D: Unremarkable PRK eye surgery to correct myopia last year.


    FAA needed the following after my medical exam. All was submitted, and OKC has noted it was all scanned in as of July 10th of this year.


    1. Psychiatric Evaluation from one of their specialists due to items A, B, C. It was from their own list. I do not know if the specialist was a HIMS specialist. None of the documentation I received said HIMS.

    2. Due to the Autism, a complete neuropsych workup/evaluation, ie: the Cogscreen and all the other mumbo jumbo. My neuropsychologist additionally required evaluations from flight instructors to submit with his report for supporting references.

    3. Name change documentation.

    4. The dreaded FAA Gender Dysphoria Mental Health Status Report Form (Yep, it's an an actual thing. I don't have a current psychologist, so their specialist from item 1 filled this out).

    5. Records from the inpatient event.

    6. Eye surgery form (8500-7).


    Last I called OKC (last week) they told me to call DC. The number they gave me for DC though was a central switchboard, and when I asked for the FAA medical department there, they gave me the AOPA number for Pilot Protective Services. Kinda useless. I want to reach the FAS's office over there to check status directly, not a private lobbying/pilot organization/non-profit that may or may not be able to do it on my behalf for money (not that I am not a fan of AOPA).


    So two questions really:


    A: On the basis of the above, how long? It's been 38 business days since it was "scanned in" now. or roughly 8 weeks. I have like 30 flight hours (I had to get the hours before getting the medical as the neuropsychologist held my report until I got favorable reports from my flight instructors about my ability/comportment in the cockpit to support his report, which by definition requires flying) and I want to solo already.

    B: What's the DC contact number for medicals? I know OKC is available at 405-954-4821 and I know the tricks to getting through their IVR, but what is the DC contact number?


    Thanks.
     
  2. Stan Cooper

    Stan Cooper Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    Frankly, I'm amazed that being transgender is still such an issue in 2019. Tamsyn Waterhouse, a local trans pilot, got her medical in 2012 with help from a local congressman, the Transgender Law Center, and others. Many others have followed.

    We have a couple of HIMS AMEs who will probably chime in on the autism.

    Good luck to you.
     
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  3. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Eight weeks is not anything as far as even basic special issuances go. The only thing I can suggest is try talking to your regional flight surgeon (or her pilot advocate). When I had a lost in space application they were able to help decode the letters at the bottom of the letters I received and put me direct in contact with the person handling my file.
     
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  4. Mike Smith

    Mike Smith En-Route

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    I think the involuntary hospitalization and history of autism are the hold ups rather than being transgendered. Good luck to you OP, I hope you can get your medical.
     
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  5. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    I think it's the fact that there are multiple things, each of which might be easily dealt with, when occurring together raise a lot of concern.
     
  6. lbfjrmd

    lbfjrmd Line Up and Wait

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    A 4 to 5 month processing time is not what you want to hear ... but it is what it is. Your Regional Flight Surgeon can be helpful. OKC can and has I believe has verified receiving all requested data. Calling DC will not work.
     
  7. Unregistered

    Unregistered Guest

    This is the OP.

    Yeah, the neuropsychologist who did the Cogscreen and MMPI-2 along with the various other tests did mention it's the cocktail of things, with probably the Autism highest on the list and the psychiatric hospitalization second. The Autism alone (it WAS Autism, not Asperger's) dictates the neuropsychological evaluation requirement as it is literally a neurodevelopmental disorder that can directly affect the five senses and brain function (ie: sensory integration, sensory overload, executive function difficulties, working memory issues, etc). I was asking him the whole time if my good to neutral results for the tests possibly disproved my Autism, as I was diagnosed solely due to similar neuropsych testing after showing stereotypical symptoms at a young age. Despite the overlap between the tests and a typical Autism diagnostic battery, he couldn't say, but regardless, he has repeatedly told me I'm likely to get my medical eventually given the results, as nowadays my Autism symptoms, if any, are negligible. Almost no one ever knows about the Autism unless mention it. Honestly, being trans has eaten up my life far more since becoming an adult, and especially the way things have been going in this country recently, I don't see that changing anytime soon! Being trans along with my penchant for honesty is what convinced me to report everything quite frankly, as good luck hiding a transgender medical/legal paper trail from the feds, so might as well report it all, hah!

    So yeah, I see the testing as potentially justifiable as per the alleged responsibility of the Air Surgeon by law, plus it may help me with the AT-SA exam if I actually hear back from the FAA regarding the recent ATC bid (yeah, I'm attempting that), but still, it cost me lots of time and money and I just want my medical. I'm also hoping that my case will not require follow ups with special issuance as Autism and fully-treated Gender Dysphoria aren't really conditions that change in adulthood, right? (any guesses on that one?) FAA simply needs to hurry up and let this lady solo a Cessna already. But ofc, hurry up and wait, right?

    I'm going to try calling or leaving a voicemail with my regional flight surgeon tommorow though as per flyingron and see if that gets me anywhere (thank you flyingron for that idea).

    Btw...if you're curious about the Gender Dysphoria form, it's on the FAA's website, Google "FAA Gender Dysphoria Mental Health Status Report", you'll get a PDF. The form was last updated barely a month ago, so yeah, they still definitely care if someone is trans, especially if one is trans and has other conditions that may be related or coincide with being trans.

    Also there's this one FAA bulletin that keeps coming up when I search for Autism. Look up "Medical Certification of Pilots with Autism Spectrum Disorder - Asperger's Type". The only thing that really made my Autism, Autism, and not Asperger's was really the language delay so it is likely semi-relevant.
     
  8. bbchien

    bbchien Touchdown! Greaser!

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    In your email (I think that was you...) you didn’t mention autism spectrum. I’ve only succeeded with that, twice. This is really really tough to certify. Trans @5 years..not much of a deal, but autism spectrum (which a neurocog. eval CANNOT rule out) and an involuntary hosp. (We both know you don’t get one of those unless it’s imminent harm to self or others) ...well this last item needs 10 yrs of documented good psychiatry hygiene and function B4 they will seriously consider you.

    LGBTQ is not an issue here. The other two are.

    38 days? For these latter two you are looking at 4x as much as it will go to DC...
    And there is NO DC person to call......NOT user friendly. Massive backlog....
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2019
  9. Lindberg

    Lindberg En-Route

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    I'm certain that being transgender is not an issue, rather it's the much higher risk than the general population of mental illness, depression, substance abuse, and suicide.
     
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  10. Cap'n Jack

    Cap'n Jack Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    So long as the analysis was of an individual; I think this is the way the statement was intended.
     
  11. bbchien

    bbchien Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The FAA does NOT care what is between your legs. It cares what is between your EARS.
     
  12. Unregistered

    Unregistered Guest

    Op again, hi.

    Yep, and being trans affects that, as socially transitioning, hormones, exceedingly difficult/painful/costly surgeries, and life in general take their toll. Being LGBT or transgender in particular is definitely still an issue in society in 2019. Body and social dysphoria related to being trans can be difficult things to deal with, and there still is ALOT of general adversity, ie: homophobia and transphobia, out there in society today. So yes, I'd add my personal thoughts to the hard data/articles presented earlier and concur that there definitely is a higher risk of mental illness and what not in trans people. Taking that fact, and considering the rest of my complex history, which is probably alot more important anyway, I wouldn't debate the decision to review/defer my case. I did after all obediently submit the requested testing and records. Now however, I just want my medical! After I get it, knowing what I know now, I will probably be a big fan of BasicMed unless I decide to generate income by flying in ways other than instructing!

    By the way, trans people who apply for medicals, lack concurrent psychological or medical conditions and haven't first started hormones or had bottom surgery or breast surgery (they don't seem to care about voice or facial surgery from what I've read and heard from docs so far) within the past 5 years can actually get their first medicals on the spot at the AME I'm not mistaken. They don't even need the Gender Dysphoria Form filled out. Check the FAA website, there's a decision chart. Unfortunately, due to my surgical history in particular, I wouldn't fit the 5 year guideline until 2020. Regardless, I think they're just looking at the aeromedical concerns of trans identity here. Gender Dysphoria probably has some legitimate aeromedical concerns simply due to the recommended medical treatments prescribed by WPATH to mitigate it, not just because of the higher risk of mental illness and substance abuse due to coexisting mental health concerns and treatment.
     
  13. Pilots Of America Management

    Pilots Of America Management MC Announcements and Communication Management Council Member

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    The thread is being reopened after certain posts were deleted. Remember that the Medical Matters forum is to be used to discuss the FAA implications of various conditions, not your individual judgments about said conditions.
     
  14. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    Update: FAA panel in DC "reviewed case" last week. A letter last week directly from the Federal Air Surgeon himself, Michael Berry says "soon". Any idea what the timeline looks like now on average? Anyone have insight on these processes?
     
  15. bbchien

    bbchien Touchdown! Greaser!

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    About a month. Start calling 405-954-4821 weekly. They can fax it to you once it exists- and that bypasses the federal mail contractor who has 14 days to get it to your mailbox.....
     
  16. 3393RP

    3393RP En-Route

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    Imagining the uproar associated with having family members who didn't want to believe you suffered from the pressures of a very real condition, in addition to the personal torment you must have felt since an early age, it's easy to believe you had real psychological difficulties before your transition.

    It's nice to hear you are in a better place now, and I hope the letter you received is the harbinger of good news coming your way.

    I like to believe society is becoming more educated about such things, and that prejudices are disappearing. I'm sure it seems to be moving at a glacial pace for you and others.

    Best of luck to you and your goal of becoming a pilot.
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2019
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  17. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    Brief update: 2+ years after original application, this pilot is getting her (second class, but effectively first class) medical. Checked FAA db this evening online. I won.

    I don't know yet if there are SI conditions, waiting on the mail now.
     
  18. bbchien

    bbchien Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Congratulations. The race goes to the tough and persistent (with some $$s spent, too).
    I'll bet the SI is for autism spectrum disorder.....
     
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  19. TCABM

    TCABM Pattern Altitude

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    Congratulations.
     
  20. SoCal 182 Driver

    SoCal 182 Driver Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Well done. Congratulations!
     
  21. Anonymous

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    Typo: I mean third effectively, not first.

    I'd edit this but it's anonymous. I'm ecstatic enough this evening to make such a silly error. Promise not to fly this evening, being too happy can be distracting .
     
  22. kath

    kath Administrator Management Council Member

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    It’s a First Class Victory!

    congrats, and glad you could give us an update
     
  23. JEB

    JEB Pre-Flight

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    FANTASTIC NEWS! I'm happy for you!
     
  24. Mason

    Mason Pattern Altitude

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    Congrats and admiration for your determination.
     
  25. Racerx

    Racerx Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I'd have given up long ago. Congratulations! The persistence, determination, and optimism is admirable!
     
  26. David Megginson

    David Megginson Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Someone who cares enough about flying to go through all this is the kind of pilot I'd like to fly with.
     
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  27. Stan Cooper

    Stan Cooper Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    Congratulations! I'm very happy for you; your perseverance paid off.
     
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  28. CaptainXap

    CaptainXap Filing Flight Plan

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    Congratulations!
     
  29. allPrimes

    allPrimes Pre-Flight

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    Woot! Right on!
     
  30. JoeSelch

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    Glad to hear this. Congratulations!

    Now, go fly!
     
  31. 3393RP

    3393RP En-Route

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    Congratulations and best wishes to you. I'm pleased you have outlasted the bureaucracy and are now able to pursue your goals in flying.