The medical examination is painless – honest.
It is sensible to have an examination before you spend a too much money on flying lessons. You will need to have the medical certificate before you are allowed to fly solo and the youngest age at which you can have an examination is 15 years and six monthes but no upper limit. Medical examiners can be very busy so it is important to book early or it could hold you back if you are ready to go solo.
There are two types of medical exam in the UK; a class one and a class two medical examination. The class one is required to become a commercial pilot and the class 2 is adequate to become a private pilot. If you are anticipating becoming a comercial pilot it is worth having a class one medical. You will be required to do your initial class one at the CAA headquaters in Gatwick. A class two is all you need for a PPL. The medical exam can seem quite daunting. If there is anything wrong with you there is a chance that the medical will reveal it. On my initial class one examination at Gatwick there was a pilot who was told that his heart had become over sized. The pilot was devastated at loosing his license but was told by the doctor that he would have died within two years if it had continued to go untreated. There are two ways of dealing with this, one is to fear the medical and the other its to embrace it as something that is likely to increase your life expectancy.
My examining doctor is always interested in my weight. One pound increase and I have my wrist slapped. And I only suffer from a little middle age spread! Medical examiners are generally pragmatic. They are all pilots themselves and will do what ever they can to keep you flying.
If you are young and have no history of medical problems then the exam is just a formality. As we get older more things go wrong! Most things can be put right.