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Home > Mercy News > MercyCare family physician receives FAA Aviation Medical Examiner certification
Published on May 12, 2021
Stephen Runde, MD, family practice physician at MercyCare Monticello, 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. Runde completed the training earlier this year and then passed a 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 about 6,000 AMEs nationwide; there are only 34 in Iowa.
While all pilots must receive some type of health assessment before flying, the levels of certification vary. Generally, 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. Runde has 38 years of experience in occupational health and family practice. Prior to joining MercyCare Monticello in 2020, Dr. Runde practiced at MercyCare North Urgent Care in Cedar Rapids.