Honors Projects


Dana RoseFollow


This project investigates the challenges and implications of obtaining medical certification for pilots with a history of childhood misdiagnoses, focusing on Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Misdiagnoses in childhood can lead to significant obstacles in the aviation industry's medical certification process, posing unique hurdles for aspiring pilots. The study examines the current FAA guidelines and procedures for medical certification, particularly the evaluation requirements for individuals with ADHD. It also explores common challenges faced by pilots, the effects of childhood misdiagnoses on their eligibility, and the impact of the FAA's ADHD evaluation process.

Through interviews with Aviation Medical Examiners (AMEs), this project identifies key aspects of the certification process that could be reformed to improve accessibility while maintaining aviation safety. Potential solutions include streamlining the evaluation process, enhancing collaboration among medical professionals, and addressing the legal and ethical considerations associated with medical certifications.

The findings highlight the need for balanced reforms that support individuals with misdiagnoses while ensuring public safety. This project also discusses future implications, suggesting an evolution in medical certification that promotes greater accessibility for pilots without compromising safety standards. The research underscores the importance of continuous adaptation in the aviation industry to meet the changing landscape of medical evaluations and diagnoses.


Aviation Studies: Flight Technology and Operations

First Advisor

Carlton Braun

Second Advisor

Paul Moore

Publication Date

Spring 4-20-2024