FAA Neuropsychological Evaluations - When Experience and Timeliness Matter Most.
What Should I Expect During and After Testing?
The length of testing varies depending upon the reason for referral and this will be discussed during your phone consultation with Dr. Lutz. Generally speaking, an appointment consists of a consultation with Dr. Lutz to review your history, followed by neuropsychological testing. Testing may be as brief as one hour, or may last most of the day. For longer test batteries, a break is taken for lunch and as needed throughout the day. You are always welcome to split longer testing sessions across two days if you prefer. Our goal is for you to perform at your best. Please let us know your preference when scheduling.
Testing consists of various cognitive tasks intended to assess many different areas including attention, processing speed, memory, problem solving, mood and personality. These areas have been selected because they are important indicators of neurocognitive functioning and are relevant to performance in the cockpit. Testing is administered through interactive tasks with the examiner, via computerized measures, and self/other report questionnaires. Your scores on these measures are calculated by comparing your performance to others who are similar to yourself in terms of age and at times, level of education. For many of the measures that are used, your performance is also compared to normative data for other pilots who have completed these same tasks. The goal in relying on this standardized data is to be as consistent and objective as possible in reviewing performance.
After testing is completed all items are scored and reviewed in detail. In considering your performance, Dr. Lutz looks for patterns of strengths and weaknesses to determine if an aeromedically significant concern exists. Thus a problem on one task may not necessarily mean your performance is not acceptable by FAA standards. It is normal that we all have varying strengths and weaknesses to some extent.
Finally, these findings are submitted in a report to your AME with required test printouts and supplemental information. You may also request to receive a copy of the report and recommendations although some materials contain sensitive information (e.g. specific test questions) that may only be released to your AME, the FAA, or another psychologist. If there are concerns with your performance, Dr. Lutz or your AME may consult with you regarding appropriate options such as completing additional testing, participating in cognitive rehabilitation, etc.