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Home > Medical Examination > Can I be a pilot with this medical problem?
Can I be a pilot with this medical problem?
Pilot Career - Medical Examination
Wednesday, 02 January 2008 20:13

Hi Capt Lim,

I stumbled upon your web-site and I've found it really informative about becoming a pilot, etc.

Actually, I have got a medical problem. I was diagnosed with seminoma (testicular cancer) last year. After my operation and radiotherapy, the doctors told me that I would have a 90% chance of recovery. I am 26 this year and I would very much like to pursue a career to become an airline pilot. I was wondering, because of my medical condition, would I be accepted as a cadet pilot? Would they reject me during the medical tests?

Would you know what would be the outcome?

Thank you so much for the help.

Benji (Not real name)

Hi Benji,

I am not an aviation doctor and I cannot give you any clear advice as regards to your medical condition. During the medical examination, you would be required to state your medical history. They would examine you more thoroughly to make any assessment on your suitability to be a cadet pilot. To be on the safe side, I would advise you to go ahead and apply for the position after you have fully recovered from your medical problem.

Wish you a speedy recovery.


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Dear Benji,

I am sorry to hear about your medical condition. I am not sure which airline you wish to join but since you stated that you are 26 and wish to be a pilot, i'd assume that you are applying for SQ.

Let me share with you my experience. I applied earlier last year and completed all interviews and medical examination. However, after completing the medical examination, i was informed that i was being rejected. Although the reason was not disclosed, i believe it was because of the fact i had a spinal surgery done 11 years ago. (slip disc) AFAIK, previously there were applicants with the same medical condition who were also accepted.

Hoping to convince them that i have completely recovered, i even went to the extent of going for a MRI and getting the doctor to certify that i was fit to fly. (MRIs are not cheap!)

I was still rejected in the end. I was devastated and i am still trying to come to terms with it.

My advice to you would be you could try applying but do not have high hopes because from a company's POV, why should they hire someone with a medical history when they can pick anyone else who is "clean".

It is also a demand and supply situation i guess, in the current economic climate, i believe that it is an employer's market. SQ could afford to pick and choose their applicants.

I hope I have not dampen your spirits and hope that you would still try to proceed with your application.

Good luck and wishing you a speedy recovery.


Dissapointed , 14 Jan, 2009
Would like to ask
So how does it goes for migraine and childhood asthma
would they reconsider?
And what would their reasons be..


Jackk (not real name)
Jack lim , 23 Mar, 2009
Hypothyroidism a cause of concern?
I would like to know if hypothyroidism is a matter of concern when i apply to a flying school. Will i be rejected because of this?
Thank you,
Hashir , 29 May, 2009
dear cap.lim,

i have asthma ...can i be a pilot...(just simple question)smilies/cry.gifsmilies/cry.gif
kamal , 29 Jul, 2009
scholiosis , Low-rated comment [Show]
Hello,i have diabetes.Its possible for me to become a pilot?
Salisu Isa , 21 Mar, 2010
Slip Disc
Dear Cpt Lim,

I'm passionate in flying. I'm wondering if one with slip disc at L3/L4(mild) , L4/L5(mild) can be a pilot? It happen 5 years ago during my NS training and for the past 3.5years i've not been experiencing any discomfort in any form of activities such as scuba diving, weight training, marathon and swimming.

Thank You

Pilot Wannabe , 09 Feb, 2011
Hi Captain Lim!

I have scoliosis and worn brace in the past. My condition have improved significantly and you can hardly tell anymore. Besides, I injured my lower back playing squash in the past , will that affect my chances?Praying hard ..

Thank you.
Jo , 25 Oct, 2011
Spine problem
Hi, my name is Yohan. I'm currently 17 years old, doing my A-levels, and would like to pursue a pilot career. As I've been reading, I am most concerned with the medical examination.

When I was 14 I started experiencing some back problems, I now know that it is due to the heavy bag i carried and the way I sat. I got this pain in my back, like an electric shock, but it was random. I had an X-ray scan and it revealed that there is not enough space(muscle) between some disc. When they touch and rub against each other, that is when i feel the pain, but only for a brief moment of 3-7 seconds.

I have been working on my back and doing some exercise to strengthen it, and it's been almost a year now that I haven't felt the pain. I am worried that i do not pass the medical examination. Could you tell me whether my past spine problem, will be my downfall please?....

I look forward to reading your reply

Regards Yohan.
CPT.Yohan , 27 Sep, 2015
freedom rights
i was also refused due to spinal injury i dont want to be a private pilot or commercial pilot i just want to fly my own plane as a hobby for my own benefit but i was refused. seems you have to be fit enough to fly the redbull races or its not at all.

nomic , 04 Jul, 2017

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