I’m working through the first class medical certification process, which was deferred due to some medication I was taking for depression and anxiety back when I was teenager. I kept taking the medication into adulthood not necessarily because I was in rough shape, but primarily because my doctor and I agreed that the medication wasn’t causing any negative side effects and I was pretty stable and in good shape. Why mess with a good thing?
In consultation with my doctor, I stopped taking the medication once I found out the FAA doesn’t allow certain antidepressants. Once I had been off the medication for 90 days with no side effects, my doctor sent a glowing note to the FAA. They just got back to me stating they need a “current psychiatric evaluation performed by a HIMS trained psychiatrist.”
I looked at the FAA-recommended HIMS doctors and setup an appointment with one of the doctors, but his office stated that he cannot perform the evaluation himself. and he would see me simply in order to refer me to a psychiatrist his office works with. I asked for the number of his psychiatrist so I could reach out myself, and Dr. Gratzer returned my call shortly. He said that he could get me in next week, he would perform all of the necessary evaluations, and I would need to bring him a check for $1500 because insurance doesn’t cover these evaluations. I asked if he needs my FAA records and he said no, just bring my general medical records. He said he could send the report directly to the FAA and bypass the afore-mentioned HIMS referral because “I’m setup with the FAA.”
Does this sound like it’s up-and-up? I feel like I may be getting scammed here but I can’t find info online for how much these evaluations are supposed to cost. Also, what should I expect at this evaluation?
Appreciate any info anyone can provide - this whole HIMS thing is confusing to me and I just want to get the approval process finished. I’ve been at this since August and I don’t see any end in sight. I understand these things take time and government agencies are slow, but my employment situation changed recently and time is running out for me.