All about the dive medical examination & a visit to the dive doctor

Diving is a wonderful, but also demanding sport that can be both physically and mentally challenging. For this reason, it may be necessary for some divers to be examined (periodically) by a diving physician to minimize risks of underwater health problems.

The purpose of this article is to inform divers about all aspects surrounding the medical examination. When is it mandatory? How does a medical examination work? To these questions and more we try to answer.

Disclaimer: From EWDR we absolutely cannot answer medical questions, after all we are dive travel specialists and not doctors. We can only inform you where to go to get the right information.

What is a medical examination for divers?

A medical examination for divers is a health examination conducted to determine whether a person is physically and medically fit to dive. The purpose of the examination is to identify any health risks that could cause problems during diving, such as cardiovascular disease, lung problems or ear problems.

The examination is performed by doctors specializing in diving medicine. These doctors have the knowledge and experience to assess whether a person can dive safely and advise on any restrictions or precautions that should be taken. A thorough medical examination is essential to ensure the safety and well-being of divers.

When is a medical examination required?

If you take a diving course or dive at a dive shop, you must always fill out a dive medical form. This form contains several questions about your health. If you answer “Yes” to any of these questions, you need a medical examination. Don’t worry; this just means you need a doctor’s signature.

Click here to view the form.

If you have a medical indication, such as asthma, epilepsy, diabetes, then this will probably already come out of the medical questionnaire as well and a dive inspection is necessary. Can you answer “No” to all the questions, but still have doubts about something? Certainty above all else! Contact a diving medical examiner to discuss your doubts.

How to find a diving doctor in my area?

On the website of the NICDA you can view all affiliated diving doctors in the Netherlands & Belgium. There is a2nd website for the Netherlands,

Why is a Medical Examination Important?

Diving poses health and safety risks such as decompression sickness, pulmonary overpressure, barotrauma, and drowning. Medical conditions can increase these risks. Therefore, a medical examination is sometimes crucial to prevent complications and to ensure that divers are physically able to dive safely.

Several studies and reports show that a significant percentage of diving accidents are due to underlying medical conditions that were not identified in a timely manner. According to a report by Divers Alert Network (DAN), medical problems are a major factor in about 25% of fatal diving accidents. A well-known case is that of a diver with undiagnosed heart problems who suffered a heart attack during a dive, which ended fatally. Another case involved a diver with untreated epilepsy who suffered a seizure during a dive, leading to drowning. These incidents further emphasize the importance of thorough medical examinations to prevent such tragedies.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Do I always have to do an examination before diving?
No, this depends on whether you answer “Yes” to any of the questions on the medical form or whether you have a medical indication. There is one exception to this, for diving professionals and divers who want to take professional diving courses (starting at Dive Master) an inspection is always mandatory. In addition, there are also many divers who get inspected annually anyway, just to be on the safe side. We are also hearing more and more noises that various diving organizations are requiring their members to be inspected….

How do I prepare for a medical diving examination?
Prepare for a medical examination by gathering medical documents, filling out the medical form accurately, scheduling a convenient time, wearing comfortable clothes, eating lightly, hydrating well, preparing questions, and staying relaxed.

What is the cost of a medical diving examination?
The cost of a medical examination for divers varies depending on the location, the doctor and the scope of the examination. Generally, the cost is between €75 and €150. A comprehensive inspection can be more expensive, especially if additional tests are required. It is advisable to check with the doctor or examination center in advance to find out the specific costs and what they include. It is also advisable to take a look at your health insurance policy, as some things may be covered under additional insurance.

Also perhaps interesting

Thresher Sharks Macro Diving Whale Sharks

Diving in the Philippines

Besides diving, do you like to socialize? Then go on a diving vacation to the Philippines! There is a lot of variety to be found in the Philippines, both in terms of price and dive...

Read more

Diving in Malaysia

Malaysia offers divers a stunning underwater world with crystal clear waters, fascinating coral walls and an exuberant variety of marine inhabitants, including curious clownfish and elegant sea turtles.

Read more
Bahamas Hammerhead Sharks Tiger Sharks

The sharks of the Bahamas

Diving with hammerhead and tiger sharks is eminently possible on Bimini in the Bahamas.

Read more
Costa Rica Hammerhead Sharks Tiger Sharks Manta Rays

Diving in Costa-Rica

Costa Rica offers fantastic diving in Guanacaste, where divers can meet bull sharks and basking manta rays, among others. Cocos Island is world famous for its diving with hammerhead sharks, tiger sharks ánd whale sharks.

Read more
Galapagos Hammerhead Sharks Manta Rays Sea Lions

Diving in the Galapagos Islands

Diving the Galapagos from a liveaboard is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Discover the underwater world full of marine iguanas, hammerhead sharks, whale sharks and playful sea lions. An absolute must-do for diving enthusiasts and a bucket...

Read more
Maldives Whale Sharks Manta Rays

What does diving in the Maldives cost?

Diving in the Maldives is accessible even on a limited budget. We list all the costs for diving in the Maldives.

Read more
Egypt Unlimited diving

Trip Report: Week at Abu Dabbab Dive Resort – Marsa Alam, Egypt

A diving trip in words: Leonie’s account of her week of diving in Abu Dabbab with Rianne.

Read more
Zanzibar Dolphins

On diving vacation to Zanzibar with Leeuwarden Diving Association

Mark organized a diving vacation to Zanzibar for Diving Association Leeuwarden. It became a buddy trip which meant that other clients of EWDR were also welcome.

Read more
Snorkeling Vacation

The Ultimate Guide to Snorkeling Vacations

In this article, we dive into the enchanting world of snorkeling, focusing on the best snorkeling vacations around the world.

Read more
Maldives Whale Sharks Manta Rays Liveaboard

Liveaboard Maldives

This guide on liveaboard diving vacations to the Maldives explains what a liveaboard is, a typical daily schedule, and describes sailing itineraries

Read more

The 10 Most Beautiful Dives in the Maldives

Back to overview The 10 Most Beautiful Dives in the Maldives The Maldives is known as one of the most beautiful places in the world for diving, with a diversity of marine life and enchanting...

Read more
Maldives Liveaboard Resort

The best time to dive in the Maldives

When is the best time to dive in the Maldives? Check here by month what to expect and when is the best time to visit.

Read more
Maldives Whale Sharks Manta Rays

Diving trip Maldives

Go on a diving trip to the Maldives! From luxury resorts to budget liveaboards, enjoy fantastic diving with manta rays and whale sharks.

Read more
Whales Whale Sharks

Top 5 – July: Best diving destinations

Discover the 5 best dive sites for July! From whale sharks in Mexico to the Sardine Run in South Africa. Plan your next diving adventure.

Read more

eSim on Dive Vacation – Carefree Internet on your Mobile

Would you like to keep surfing the Internet during your diving vacation? Without skyrocketing roaming charges? Then check out the possibilities of an eSim.

Read more
Norway Killer Whales Unique Encounters

Snorkeling with Orcas in Norway

Snorkeling with orcas in Norway offers an unforgettable opportunity to observe these impressive animals in their natural habitat.

Read more
Cape Verde Boatdiving Sea Turtles

Diving Cape Verde – Adventure and large schools of fish

Diving in the Cape Verde Islands. What to expect. And is it worth it? We can confidently answer Yes to that….

Read more

Prescription diving mask

Almost any diving mask can be supplied with prescription glasses. Either for far away, near, multifocal, varifocal… It is all possible.

Read more
Zanzibar Resort

Soraya & Jeffry go diving on Zanzibar

Soraya & Jeffry went to Zanzibar and stayed at Langi Langi for a week.

Read more

10 Activities on Bonaire that have nothing to do with diving

We know that you can dive beautifully on Bonaire, but there really is a lot to do for the non-diver as well! We’ve listed our top 10 activities.

Read more
Mola mola Manta Rays Macro Diving

The Colors of Bali

Bali is not called the Island of the Gods for nothing; it is an enchanting island. Not only is the island of Bali beautiful, around the island you can do fantastic diving.

Read more
Wreck diving Sharks Coral Reefs

Liveaboard diving vacations in Egypt

The liveaboard concept is a unique way to dive and allows divers to take their diving experience to the next level. Unlike a day trip to a dive site, divers stay aboard a liveaboard ship...

Read more

What do you pack when you go on a diving vacation?

Going on a diving vacation? We give you 8 tips to efficiently pack your suitcase! We discuss everything from the right choice of suitcase to your regulators and underwater camera.

Read more
Manta Rays Mola mola Muck Diving

Diving in Indonesia

Diving in Indonesia is very diverse and offers an incredible variety of marine life, including colorful coral reefs, sea turtles, sharks, manta rays and more.

Read more