White Coat Syndrome


New Member
Here's one for everybody...

Anybody struggle with "White Coat Syndrome"? Basically...I went to get my 1st class medical...and was found to have tachycardia and mild hypertension, so my medical got forwarded onto OKC for review (which I was granted by the way via special issuance). I was sent to a cardiologist by my my primary physician...and I was put on beta blockers to keep things under control. Here's the thing...my heartrate and BP have been like 125/75 and 70bpm respectively. I went for my 3 month check up and it was 145/95 and 116bpm. So...my medication got bumped up a bit. However...I have been checking it outside of the doctors and its the same...anywhere between 125/75 and 120/70 and 60-70bpm.

I think I freak out at the doctor and there's really nothing wrong (except maybe for my brain...but I've known that).

Anybody have this problem...and what do you do to deal with it?

Thanks for your input in advance....
I'd get a second opinion. Always remember that doctors love pills, and like to prescribe them for everything regardless of what they do to your career. Sending you to a cardiologist sounds like jumping the gun, unless your AME has a medical history on you to suggest a larger problem. My BP was a lot higher during my first class exam than normal, probably becuase I was stressed about what was riding on that exam. Read through Doug's comments about that, I think it affects everyone.

Also, I highly suggest seeing an AME that flies reguarly and often themselves. This is advice given to me by my AME. He flies a lot.

I scheduled my medical for early AM-out of bed, jogging suit on, drive to the doctor. No caffeine.
Yup, I'm probably your classic victim of white coat syndrome.
It's not really the second opinion I'm concerned about. We already are agreed that I will come back in 6 weeks with a paper record of me taking my own bp and pulse to compare notes. He (the cardiologist) is thinking the same thing as me. The medication is strictly a just in case measure. I have no problem with the med...neither does the FAA.

What I'm more concerned with is getting over a mental association which, in my opinion, is the only real issue here. I was very much out of shape and 30 pounds overweight at the time of my FAA medical. The doc seems to think exercise and weight loss with take care of all of it.

But I still don't want to have to freak out everytime I go to the AME, especially if its going to be a class 1 every 6 months...

Did you ever take your car to the mechanic and have him tell you "Nope...theres nothing wrong with it. She's fine. You don't owe me anything...."?

Doc's are the same way..."what, I need a new Johnson rod, and my regulator valve is leaking"....how the hell do I know he's not milking my insurance to pay for his ne BMW?