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Aviation Neuropsychology & Forensic Evaluations

Aviation Neuropsychology & Forensic Evaluations

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Dr. Peter Gager

Dr. Peter Gager is a Board-Certified HIMS neuropsychologist with extensive experience in aviation neuropsychology and IMEs. In private practice, he has assisted airmen from around the country with FAA medical certification.
Dr. Gager worked as a neuropsychologist with active-duty special operators, including pilots and JTACs, at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda and Walter Reed National Military Medical Center/ National Intrepid Center of Excellence for PTSD and brain injury. Before private practice, he was an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Kentucky.
Dr. Gager earned his Ph.D. in Psychology from Rutgers University and has advanced training in neuropsychology from Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York and the University of Michigan Medical Center.

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Services

FAA EVALUATIONS & COGSCREEN AE

Experienced evaluator for FAA-related neuropsychological and psychological medical certification evaluations. All conditions:

  • ADHD
  • HIMS/Substance use
  • SSRI/depression
  • Potential Neurocognitive
  • Impairment
  • Psychological

INDEPENDENT EVALUATIONS (IME)

Psychological and neuropsychological IMEs for disability and worker’s compensation claims.

FAQs

Who pays for the evaluation?2022-05-10T12:38:54+00:00

In almost all cases, you pay for the evaluation. The FAA will not pay for your evaluation. In addition, it is not appropriate for me, or any other provider, to accept health insurance to pay for an FAA evaluation.

Neuropsychological evaluations conducted at the request of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) follow standardized and comprehensive protocols. My rates include the evaluation from start-to-finish, and includes review of up to 100 page of records. As soon as we receive your FAA letter (if you have one) or communicate about what is needed, we can let you know the cost.

What do I do to prepare for the evaluation?2022-05-10T12:40:24+00:00

First, try to get a good night’s sleep for a few nights before the scheduled evaluation.

Second, if you are commuting to the evaluation, arrange your travel so that you do not have to drive a long distance the morning of the evaluation.

Third, if appropriate bring glasses, hearing aids, and snacks for the evaluation. I recognize that this is a stressful process. My office will do everything in our power to make it less so. Finally, complete the forms that will be sent to you after you schedule and bring them to the appointment.

How to schedule an evaluation2022-05-10T12:40:57+00:00

Send a copy of the FAA letter to our office. You can either fax it to (859) 908-2623, or e-mail to [email protected]com.
The purpose of this step is to ensure that you are receiving the type of evaluation required by the FAA. This step will help you avoid paying for unnecessary services or omitting crucial information.

Request that the FAA directly send non-certified copies of your records to this office. Please note that receiving records directly from the FAA is their requirement, and not specific to this office. It can take 6-8 weeks to receive records, so please do this as soon as possible. A form to request records can be found here.

In the case of ADHD referrals, please note that the FAA requires you to obtain a urine drug screen (UDS) for ADHD medications within 24-hours after each day of testing. I will complete a “home” drug screen, but I am not capable of conducting an official urine test. It is your responsibility to obtain the urine testing if the FAA requires it.

What is a neuropsychological evaluation?2022-05-10T12:36:57+00:00

A neuropsychological evaluation is a comprehensive assessment of your behavior, emotions, and thinking. It involves the administration of questionnaires and tests of memory, language, attention, problem-solving, thinking speed, visual perception, reaction time, and personality. Pertinent records are reviewed and a comprehensive interview about your medical,
psychological, educational, legal, social, and family history will be obtained. All these data are combined to provide you and the FAA with objective and comprehensive information about your strengths and weaknesses.

The evaluations are comprehensive in order to ensure informed decisions. Medical and/or legal records are required for us to review prior to the first appointment. Evaluations always include a 1-hour interview with Dr. Gager prior to or after testing. Collateral interviews with family members, flight instructors or co-workers may be required, with your permission.

A full FAA psychological evaluation may take 3-5 face-to-face hours (including the interview) whereas an FAA neuropsychological evaluation can take 6-12 hours, depending on the questions that need to be addressed. The CogScreen AE on its own typically takes over one hour to administer. Typically, examinees are not scheduled for more than 4 hours at a time, and a second day of testing is common. Upon completion of all the tests, a report is written which integrates the findings from the records, interviews, and testing, and determines conclusions and recommendations for treatment and flight status. This report is usually sent to the referral source or FAA within two weeks.

When looking for a neuropsychologist, what questions should I ask?2022-05-10T12:36:26+00:00
  1. Are they HIMS-trained?
  2. Do they offer the latest version of CogScreen-AE?
  3. Are they board-certified?
  4. How often do they attend the yearly FAA Aeromedical Neuropsychology
    trainings?
Why is this evaluation necessary?2022-05-10T12:39:22+00:00

Obtaining a Special Issuance Medical Certificate from the FAA

There are certain medical and psychological conditions that have the potential to interfere with an airman’s or air traffic controller’s ability to safely conduct the responsibilities of their position. Therefore, the FAA may request a neuropsychological evaluation to further evaluate the potential for problems related to various medical or psychological issues. A list of these conditions can be obtained from faa.gov.

An FAA neuropsychological evaluation is meant to objectively assess the airman’s cognitive and psychological functioning to ensure that there are no issues that can pose a risk to the safety of the airman and passengers.

Typically, the process begins by receiving a notification letter from the FAA indicating the need for a neuropsychological evaluation. At this point, you and your AME (Aviation Medical Examiner) must find a neuropsychologist who is qualified to perform the evaluation using the standardized protocols set forth by the FAA.

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