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Q&A: IBS Diagnosis

By Penny Giovanetti, D.O., Manager, Aerospace Medical Specialties Division
Source: FAA Safety Briefing, September/October 2017

Q. What exactly is to be included in a letter from my GI doctor to my FAA medical examiner in regard to my IBS?

A. We need either clinic notes or a letter from your GI doc that tells us the diagnosis (IBS); the severity, how long you have had it, any complications (such as a GI bleed, hospitalization, or recent surgery) or symptoms and what medications you take for this condition. A good place to start is the CACI Colitis Worksheet which can be found at If your condition is more severe than what is required under CACI, you may still qualify under the Special Issuance process.

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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