medical waiver


10-Year Member
Jan 16, 2007
My son is a candidate for the class of 2011. He received his nomination and the
application process has been coming along beautifully until recently. We
received a letter from DODMERB deciding that my son did not meet the medical
standards due to asthma related conditions. However he has never had asthma,
nor has he ever been diagnosed with asthma. He had an anaphylactic episode
three years ago while running cross country. After extensive testing, the cause
was never determined. The allergist/asthma specialist at his pediatrician's
office had examined him during this time and inaccurately documented "
exercise-induced bronchospasm" in his medical chart. These key words proved to
be very damaging. In our rebuttal process his pediatrician wrote an extensive
letter documenting our sons medical history and participation in a very
demanding high school sports program, all without ever being diagnosed or
treated for asthma. He concluded that had our son had asthma he would!
have been able to reach his current level of fitness untreated. The allergist/asthma specialist also
wrote a letter admitting his grave errors in his documentation. Still the
rebuttal was denied based on what DODMERB considered "facts" in his medical
This morning my son had a methocoline test performed at the local university
hospital. This test attempts to induce asthma in the patient. His results were
negative, concluding he does not have asthma. We will be forwarding the oficial
results to DODMERB and the USMA admissions office as proof of our son NOT having
asthma. Because he is a competitive candidate in all of the other areas, we are
hoping a medical waiver will be granted. Unfortunately time is of the essence
now as LOA's are being issued.
Has anyone else had to deal with a similar matter, and if so what would your
recommendation be in most effectively handling this?
Bump. Didn't want this one to get lost since it is a very good scenario and question. Would like to know Ret's views myself.

KBowman, the class won't be filled out until the first of May. Time is always of the essence, but if your son is qualified, he will get a fair look.

DoDMERB is black and white. If there is a medical diagnosis of asthma/reactive airway disease/exercise-induced bronchospasm at any time after the age of 13, DoDMERB has to issue the disqualification. If the rebuttal letter included the physicians thoughts that it might have been an anaphylactic reaction, then DoDMERB took the lesser of two evils and kept the asthma disqualification in place, rather than adding a disqualification for anaphylaxis.

I don't know if the waiver authority requested the methacholine challenge test (MCCT) or not, as you didn't state that in your post. If they did not request it, I think you went a couple of steps to far. In the majority of cases where an applicant has been disqualified for asthma/reactive airway disease/exercise-induced bronchospasm and the medical records support that it might have been an isolated incident the waiver authorities will grant a waiver based solely on the medical records. If there isn't enough information in the medical records for the wavier authorities to make a determination, then they would request a pre/post-bronchodilator pulmonary function test before going for the MCCT.

Unfortunately the MCCT probably won't change the disqualification from a DoDMERB standpoint, or DoDMERB will remove the asthma disqualification and add a disqualification for anaphylaxis. This is going to be an issue that the waiver authority will have to make a determination, no matter which disqualification is on the file.

In this case I would have suggested that besides the letter from the physician, include a letter from the applicant explaining what happened in his words, and how it affects him currently, as well as what activities he participates currently. If DoDMERB is unable to remove the disqualification all information is automatically forwarded to the wavier authorities.

Since you have the MCCT I would send it to DoDMERB, they will review, and if the DoDMERB physician is unable to remove the disqualification it will automatically be forwarded to the wavier authority. I would not send a copy to admissions. All they will do is forward it to DoDMERB.

The wavier process can take up to 8 weeks, but the majority take less than 6 weeks. It is still early in the year so time is in your favor.