Overseas Medical Exam

Discussion in 'DoDMERB' started by swps, Dec 4, 2018.

  1. swps

    swps Member

    Jun 15, 2018
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    I just wanted to give some information out for those applying from overseas as the information I found prior to my DS going through the DoDMERB Overseas processes was very sparse.

    1st let me state my DS is overseas on a 2 year LDS mission and only has the opportunity to email home once a week. He asked me before he left and again as it became time to apply if I would help him with his application to the SA as he was time limited. So that was my approach...let me ask the questions he was asking me (and some of my own) to the SA and try to take the stress off of him. 2nd this was a long process and requires lots of persistence and patience, don't give up and keep asking the people who are there to help you. They are wonderful people and are very willing to help but often things just are out of their control and you just have to be patient and wait. 3rd, expect to pay a good amount of money to have the medical exam overseas. If you can return to the US to complete the exam, this is definitely preferred to the DoDMERB. However, in my DS case that was not possible.

    My DS DodMERB journey actually started a couple years ago as he started his SA application while still a senior in high school but decided he would rather serve a mission prior to attending a SA and having to resign his commission after a year or two. He was referred to DoDMERB but did NOT complete the medical examination prior to leaving and withdrew his application.

    This summer he started his application again and this time he put his foreign address down on the application and while the application has changed a bit, he had already done most of the items required but had saved all the essays, etc. The DoDMERB website was still be re-worked at that time, so when it was back up and running he logged back into his account which still showed him as part of the 2016 cycle year. (this was an issue that took almost 4 months to resolve) I spoke with his DoDMERB councilor about how to proceed since he was overseas. Their recommendation is that unless the candidate can guarantee that the exam can be completed in English and in the units specified it is preferable that they return to the US to have the exam. However, in many countries they do have contractors available to perform the necessary examinations. My DS's country was not one of those and he would be responsible to pay for a private physician to perform the exam correctly. This was acceptable to my DS, so it was just a matter of waiting for the academy to send over the candidate information to DoDMERB.

    Several weeks went by without any word, so I called back to DoDMERB and to the counselor at the academy and they had to manually send over his information. Long story short, it was almost 2 months of calls and recommendations to wait a few weeks and check back before a supervisor finally issued an "Overseas Packet". This packet was emailed to my DS.

    The packet contains all medical information that is needed to be collected and instructions for every single field on the form on what to fill out and how. High level was basic medical information but also includes a vision test with color blindness exam and a hearing test. There was a spot for lab tests but it was indicated that they were not required. There are also other forms for allowing the release of medical information. The instructions suggest contacting the nearest embassy to see if they have a doctor on staff that can perform the tests or if the embassy can coordinate with the country to have one of their military medical doctors perform the test. Once completed the test is to be scanned into a PDF and returned to the DoDMERB.

    My DS contacted the local embassy but they did not have a doctor on staff and no one knew who to contact about having the military perform the test. So, my DS made some appointments with private doctors to perform the tests. Since there was not a single facility that could perform all the test, DoDMERB recommended that each doctor signed their portion of the exam. It was all completed in English and cost around $400 to complete. He scanned and submitted the completed exam in the beginning of October. It just sat there and after a couple weeks I called DoDMERB to check on the status and was told it is not unusual to wait 4-6 weeks and was asked to be patient and check back if nothing changed after 6 weeks.

    After 6 weeks went by and no change in the information on the DoDMERB website, I reached out to DodMERB again and this phone call indicated that the DoDMERB had not received from the SA that he was part of the 2018 cycle. A few phone calls and messages to the SA were required to get to the correct person who could speak with the correct person at the DoDMERB (who was not the person I was speak with) to get my DS's information correctly transferred over. It turns out that with the new DoDMERB database, that it has issues recognizing foreign addresses and they may not transfer. So, he only partially came over, it was enough to allow them to issue the Overseas Packet but not enough to put him in the correct cycle. Once the correct cycle was in place, his review was completed 2 days later. Later that same day he received an email notifying him of a status change and his status came back with a status of "Commission Qualified". I was told that in the past DoDMERB status' would transfer nightly, but they now run in a weekly batch on Wednesday or Thursday and if his status does not transfer after Thursday to call back and they will manually move it over.

    That's where we are right now and hopefully this will help anyone overseas applying to a SA or ROTC program that has to get their medical examination done. As you can see, it takes a lot of patience but also persistence. The people at the DoDMERB and the SA are great to work with but often they just don't know all the answers or exactly what to do and sometimes you just have to keep asking. Feel free to ask me any questions and I will do my best to answer them the best I can.
    Tbpxece likes this.
  2. Tbpxece

    Tbpxece Member

    Nov 13, 2018
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    Brief addition to this-- my DODMERB exam was done on a US military installation overseas by a US military physician, although my family was not military and did not have any form of base access. This required a little extra coordination (most USAFE facilities' access control is run through the host nation), but was not terribly difficult.

    I would toss that out there as a second option before going to a host nation provider.
    swps likes this.
  3. DrMom

    DrMom 5-Year Member

    Aug 25, 2011
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    We were in an exotic location with no DODMERB facilities or other military providers when #1 Son did his application. DODMERB told us what to do and who to see. The secret is always to start early--and follow the process as described.