Hi there, and welcome to letsgoflying.com. My world at AOPA is medical certification, and it's an interesting part of aviation that student pilots often are not introduced to early enough in their flight training. One of the first things you need to check off your "to do" list on the road to a private pilot certificate is to visit an FAA-designated aviation medical examiner (AME) for a physical examination and the issuance of a student pilot/medical certificate. You'll fill out the FAA form 8500-8-a medical history questionnaire- either online or in the AME's office on the day of your appointment (more on that in the next update). The medical application and physical exam allows the medical examiner and the FAA to get a basic idea about your general health and your past medical history. The examiner is looking for any medical issues that have ever come up in your life that could be a roadblock to issuing your medical. When you fell out of the big beech tree at grandma's house when you were 10, and woke up seconds later wondering what happened, you have a history of unconsciousness that will need to be reported. Or the three days in the hospital when you had your appendix taken out. Those are no problem, but what if you had a seizure from dehydration on the bike course of your first triathlon, (no, doing a triathlon is not a requirement for a medical!) or had a heart attack and bypass surgery? Those are more serious conditions, and require a little more work, but with an understanding of what medical records the FAA needs to see, and some patience, even a medical history as serious as these are not necessarily a show stopper. We'll get more into that medical application later. In the meantime, as an AOPA member, you can access an entire library of medical certification information at http://www.aopa.org/members/pic/medical/. Take a look at TurboMedical, our interactive medical application planning tool, to get up to speed on the FAA medical application.