There seems to be a trend amongst certain doctors to send students for chest X-Rays.
Yes, this is something that has constantly been questioned by people I know getting their SPL's. I have asthma also, but the chest x-ray was not done because of this. (I explained to the doctor that I have never actually had an asthmatic attack and have had no lung problems in the past; he seemed okay with it). As ned said, it's a leftover tradition from the 60's, when TB was widespread.
If the chest x-ray is not required by the IAA, then surely students should not have to do it just to obtain their SPL from a particular AME.
Something I'm still confused about; the hearing test. I didn't do one for my class 2. I actually questioned the doctor about it - I asked him was I supposed to do it. He said that it is only required if you are doing an Instrument rating...