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With best wishes,
DAO / CO Newsletter - July 2017 edition
Hi, and welcome to the first edition of our DAO/CO newsletter.
With the introduction of the new Medical Records System (MRS) in 2016, a lot has changed in the aeromedical assessment process. We thought it would be helpful to provide some regular updates to keep you up-to-date with developments. I believe an email specifically tailored to ophthalmologists and optometrists will be more useful than the general newsletters we have used in the past. To make sure this is the case, please do let us know if there are any particular topics you would like to see covered in future editions.
By definition, if you are reading this, you will have provided us with an email address which you regularly check. If you have colleagues who are missing out, please encourage them to update their contacts via the MRS login. Not only will this ensure they are receiving the most up to date information, but it is also essential for password resets and changes to the way we manage applications. See below for more information.
Important: paper forms will no longer be accepted
MRS has greatly sped up the processing for applicants, and provides much better information to examiners. This has important safety benefits. For these reasons, paper forms will no longer be accepted from 1 August 2017.
If you are still using paper forms and did not attend any MRS training sessions you can familiarise yourself with the electronic process via an ‘eLearning’ package on our website. The ‘Secure Messaging’ facility replaces email to communicate with us about pilots and controllers. This is encrypted and fulfils our confidentiality obligations much better than open emails.
With the latest update, we are encouraging pilots to arrange eye examinations prior to their medical appointment. When your examination report is submitted in MRS, it is automatically included in the DAME medical, and reduces duplication of effort.
Clinical topics of current interest include the acceptability of multi focal lenses in the aviation environment. Currently the advice we have received has been that they continue to present unacceptable reductions in visual quality (glare/haloes) and have poorer performance in low lighting conditions. Pilots should be advised that use of such lenses may affect their medical certification before proceeding to surgery.
The evaluation of both colour vision and visual fields remains contentious, although the current regulations are clear about what ‘meets the standard’. The operational aspects of both these matters continue to be evaluated. The work of the USAF Operationally-based Visual Assessment (OBVA) team will be invaluable in determining the operational impact of these deficiencies, and we continue to monitor their work.
As a reminder, for matters relating to your designation, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Individual matters relating to an applicant can be raised through the secure messaging facility in MRS.
Finally, thank you for your assistance in the assessment of pilots and controllers. MRS 2 continues to evolve and we have a program of ongoing development. Let us know any suggestions you have for improvements, or if you would be interested in testing new developments.
With best wishes,