There are a few critical things that every pilot needs to fly. You might be thinking those things are money, fuel, and airspeed, often in that order. True, but today we're talking about two documents that every pilot must have with them to fly; their pilot certificate and a medical certificate.
Historically, the medical is obtained by finding a doctor who is an AME (aviation medical examiner) and setting up an appointment. The medicals are offered in either First Class (primarily professional pilots), Second Class, or Third Class (most student and private pilots). As of May 1st, 2017, an alternative to the third class medical was introduced. Known as BasicMed, or Third Class Medical Reform, it promised to make the medical component simpler for many pilots who might otherwise seek a third class medical.