Medical Questionnaire

Discussion in 'Service Academy Parents' started by UHBlackhawk, Jul 5, 2018.

  1. UHBlackhawk

    UHBlackhawk Member

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    I'm hesitant to write this. It's primarily geared toward those applying to Service Academies now. I'm putting it in the Parent Section as this is an area parents can help... or really hurt an applicant.

    Let me preface this by saying I am NOT a doctor or healthcare provider.

    Part of the application process is the DODMERB or Department of Defence Medical Review Board. This will include a full physical to include a medical questionnaire that will include standard questions such as allergies, medications and medical history. Please, be honest. This is one area where you may want to help. If you are unsure about a question, ask for clarification. Something such as allergies may seem minor to you but when you are on a ship in the middle of an ocean or at a remote site in the middle of a desert having an allergic reaction is potentially lethal as well as detrimental to the mission of the military. You can't make ships "peanut safe zones" and the Third World cook you have at a remote site probably won't understand what you're talking about when you ask if the food is "allergy safe". Seriously, I was in the middle of the Sahara Desert for six months, my cooks were either Bedouins or Morrocan Army cooks who didn't speak English and if the weather was bad the nearest medical facility was probably a 4-hour drive over bumpy desert roads. Yes, things happen. But you don't want to start off behind the 8 ball with medical conditions. So understand that some conditions may disqualify you from military service. And when I am talking allergies I'm not talking about a little hayfever, but something that requires you to walk around with an Eppipin. But let the docs figure that out. Some conditions may disqualify you from the academies but not ROTC. I won't get into the reasons for this.

    If you identify an issue early enough and demonstrate you are "functional" without medication you may get a waiver. If you have ADHD, for example, but can show you can function for a set period of time without medication you may be able to get a waiver. Heck, many of us were successful in the military with what is now termed ADHD, we just didn't have a term for it. Probably why I'm writing this instead of working on my wife's "To do" list.
    Finally, review these medical items with your applicant. Then, prior to reporting, review them again. If a medical condition has come up, try to work it out BEFORE reporting. You may be medically DQed, may get an LOA for the following year, maybe get a slot for a prep school. But at least you will be giving medical personnel time to work it out.
    Finally, the point of my post. If a person shows up on R/I-Day with a medical issue not previously disclosed or checks a box on a medical questionnaire that was not previously checked, understand that you may be turned back. Every year, at every service academy the same thing happens. Someone does this and the medical personnel normally do NOT have the time to go through the waiver process so a person is turned back or at a minimum left scrambling for a last minute waiver. No one likes this. The parents, the candidate (although I do think some do this on purpose as an easy out), and believe it or not, the medical personnel hate doing it and being the "dream crushers".
     
  2. Devil Doc

    Devil Doc Teufel Doc

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    +1 on the allergies at sea or in the field. About 80 percent of the Navy and Marine Corps operational forces have an Independent Duty Corpsman as the primary healthcare provider. We are among the world's best trained non-physician medical personnel but do business without X-ray, CT, advanced lab, or operating room.

    One reason asthma is a no-go aboard ship is the ship is an industrial environment. Dust, fumes, vapors, isocyanates, hydrocarbons, PCBs, et. al. make the ship unhealthy for the unhealthy.
     
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  3. THParent

    THParent Member

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    Navy ships are unhealthy for the healthy!
    My solution was to stay off them - but I understood from time to time - that M.A.R.I.N.E. was an acronym which stood for My A** Rides In Navy Equipment. :D
     
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  4. BTCS/USN

    BTCS/USN Member

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    And there is the difference between the services, specifically Marines and Navy. I spent 17+ years AT sea on Naval equipment without any medical issues. Actually felt better at sea than when we were in port. Just saying .
     
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  5. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Super Moderator 5-Year Member

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    Agree with UHBlackhawk on parental oversight on the DoDMERB part. I believe every inch of an application should be done by the candidate, but during this part it’s time to sit down with mom and dad and talk about that time you broke your arm age 3, had tubes put in, etc. Learning your health history and preparing to take charge of it just part of the steps needed to move away from home. It’s also important because Mom and Dad can clear up things like why you had an inhaler, help pull up old documents to see what was diagnosed, etc.
     
  6. Falcon A

    Falcon A Member

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    Parents ... On the “nut allergy thing” ... it is a big deal. I am not a doctor, and I don’t have statistics ... what I do have is experience watching my DS go through the DQ / remedial / medical waiver process for a tree nut allergy, and reading posts here on the forum.

    What we experienced is USAFA will NOT approve a nut allergy medical waiver unless you can prove you no longer have a nut allergy, and they seem to typically require a supervised “nut challenge”. Have read here on forum AFROTC is the same.

    We experienced that Army ROTC and USMA will provide medical waivers for nut allergies, but the circumstances and severity of the allergy as assessed by the AROTC or USMA medical waiver authorities will matter. In some cases the type of nut (I.e. tree nut vs peanut) may matter, although I have read here about medical waivers being granted for both tree nut and peanut allergies. (Seems like peanut waiver is harder to get since peanuts are ubiquitous. Cheap, ready source of protein, etc.)

    Have recently read where Navy granted a nut allergy waiver, but not clear if NROTC or USNA. Again, the details of the allergy will matter.

    I have no experience with USCGA or USMMA.

    Best wishes to all and thank you parents for raising a son or daughter that is willing to serve.
     
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