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Q&A: Childhood Diagnosis of ADHD

Source:, By Penny Giovanetti, D.O. Manager, Aerospace Medical Specialties Division

Q. When I was a child I was prescribed medications for ADHD (Ritalin or Adderall) but I haven’t had a prescription for years. Can I still get a medical certificate?

A. Yes, it is still possible to get a medical certificate. Your AME will have to defer your exam, and we will ask for past medical records about your diagnosis of ADHD and treatment. Based on those records, we may require some current neuropsychological testing as well.

Send your questions to They will be forwarded to the Aerospace Medical Certification Division, without your name, and the answer will be published in an upcoming issue of FAA Safety Briefing.

Penny Giovanetti, D.O., received a bachelor’s degree from Stanford, a master’s in Environmental Health and Preventive Medicine from the University of Iowa and a doctorate from Des Moines University. She completed a 27-year career as an Air Force flight surgeon. She is board certified in aerospace medicine, occupational medicine, and physical medicine/rehabilitation. She is also a Fellow of the Aerospace Medical Association and a private pilot.


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