Medical test question

Discussion in 'Join the Army - Regular Officer Recruiting' started by casper92, May 19, 2010.

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  1. Hi there,

    I hope I've put this in the right place and that I haven't missed an obvious existing topic, but I've searched thoroughly and can't find a real answer.

    I just receieved my AOSB Brifing documents and was surprised to find that I had to make a medical declaration at this point - I was told by my ACO that it wasn't until the Main Board that I had to submit my medical details. I have a long history of asthma which I've only recently managed to shake off, and having been off medication for a few months I've got a way to go before my 4 years are up. I was advised, however, that this was 4 years when entering Sandhurst, not when beginning my application. Will I be rejected from the very beginning as a result? I'm taking a gap year and then a three year course at University, by which time I'll have done my 4 years med-free but I was planning on completing the AOSB before I go to Uni.

    The other worry I have is with eczema. I have suffered from short and mild bouts of eczema since I was a child, and noticed that 'chronic skin conditions' lead to automatic disqualification. Some of these bouts are on my medical records and are as recent as 2 months ago - is this (in conjunction with my history of asthma) going to make me too risky to even bother with?

    Any responses to this would be great, I'm just a bit panicky as I thought it'd be plain sailing until the Main Board.

  2. Hi casper,

    If you look around the forum, you'll see other posts explaining the whole medical at briefing thing. I did it and it's not that uncommon.

    The fact is you've been medically cleared to an extent already (on the basis of your medical forms), and they just need to clarify with you on those issues you mentioned. If your history of eczema was a massive deal you wouldn't even have been cleared to attend the Briefing (at a guess they probably want to know how severe it is/was etc.)

    The Doctors are just looking to be satisfied that those issues aren't going to affect you ability to withstand the rigours of training etc.
    I'm no expert on the asthma thing, but it could be that they'll want you to perform a lung function test and/or clarify the delay relating to use of medication.

    To reiterate, there's no use getting unduly worried. You can't change your medical history and if the Army had that much of a concern with it you'd already have been rejected. You'll just have to see what it is they want to know.

    Hope that's of some help and settles your concern to some extent. Best of luck at AOSB.
  3. The lung function test is fine if you do not suffer with asthma. I'd been misdiagnosed by an old doctor years ago and never used an inhaler. I was cleared for briefing but had to have an indepth conversation about it and a lung function test. Now in NO WAY am I an expert on this, but I know of 1 who failed the lung function test on Main Board with me who was sent home and has been told he needs 4 years of being off all meds before doing Main Board again.

    Guess it's whether you feel you are actually effected by it with dry air and exercise. If you are then maybe wait a while until you actually feel like you are fine without any meds. Have a chat with your AFCO. They will tell you if you will end up not being passed because of it, and they will be able to advise you on what to do and when to go for it.

    re skin issues, no idea am afraid, but again, give them a call at the medical office maybe?!

  4. Don't play the leper, Casper92!
  5. Thanks for the replies.

    Shifty, I think that you misunderstood the point I'm at. I literally just received my medical form in the post today along with the CV form and the Briefing information. My GP hasn't yet seen the form or had contact with the Army Medical Dept. to give me the thumbs up. I was as honest as I could be during my first meeting at the AFCO and was told that it certainly wouldn't be a problem at least until the Main Board, by which time I'd have a good year med-free which should hopefully give the Army doctors some idea that I'd be worth investing in without risk of a lung collapse. As it stands at the moment I have just over three months med-free and I'm hoping they'll appreciate that I would have probably suffered massive lung failure by now if the asthma was a big deal, however I'm more than a little nervous that they're going to defer me until the full 4 years is up before I can take the briefing. Just out of interest - does anybody know what kind of lung capacity I should be aspiring to?

    The eczema thing isn't really a huge worry, to be honest, I just was just a bit concerned that two things on their no-no list might cause them to bin my application without too much thought, regardless of the severity of the conditions. The bouts of eczema usually coinside with the times I decide to scold myself in the shower, so I think they're easily avoidable.

    Anyway thanks again for the advice. I know the sensible thing to have done would be to wait until tomorrow when I could talk to someone from the AOSB or the Medical Office and get a definitive answer before talking to my GP, and that's exactly what I'll do. Just one of those stream of consciousness things I guess.

  6. I am a little worried about the responses above! You have had asthma until four months ago? What, you just suddenly didn't have it anymore? Or you decided you didn't want to take your medication in order that you can join the army? What happens when you get to hot sandy places and it flares up? You are in the middle of a firefight and you need this inhaler you binned? It isn't really a case of "Well I've been fine for four months and haven't died yet". People die very quickly of asthma, I know two.

    Similarly with the eczma, you can't just ignore chronic conditions! I know people that have been rejected at Main Board for it.

    If I were you I would wait, evaluate yourself, enjoy university life and see how you get on. What is the drama in waiting until your final year in order to get the application going? Then you will have had (possibly) those drug free years.

    Unfortunately even your careers officer doesn't know the exact ins and outs of the medical- only the doctor at Westbury does and they can be very very strict! They are so for a reason don't forget.

    Good luck with uni!
  7. PS Forgot to say that CHILDHOOD asthma is the only one you can really get away with- being drug free for four years. If you were misdiagnosed, it is a different matter.
  8. One of my mates had a one-off recurrance of childhood asthma last year, during his final exams, and was told that he had to be incident and med free for four years before attempting Briefing or MB. I think the best thing to do might be to wait, as according to him asthma is an absolute no-no at Westbury.
  9. Neither. I've done a lot of work recently on improving my lung capacity and slowly got myself off medication over the space of around a year. It's just that I've only been fully off for the last few months.

    I'm going to phone the Briefing office later today who will probably confirm my fears that I'm going to have to put it off for a while. It's not the biggest deal in the world that I don't do it now, it was just good to have something close to use as motivation to pass my exams and get fit and a little bit of direction.

    Are you suggesting with the 'CHILDHOOD' comment that asthma's going to always be a problem, regardless of whether I have 4 years clear, because I had it as an adult? I have been told on numerous occasions by numerous people (doctors, COs and ex squaddies/officers) that 4 years clear and it's all good as if I never had it.
  10. I passed my Main Board mid May and had an inhaler prescription tail end of 2008. They just asked me a few questions and got me to complete a lung function test.

    As far as I'm aware, I may be wrong, but there is no "target lung capacity" to aim for. They use your personal details, age, height weight, smoker etc and come up with an estimated lung capacity, when you complete the lung function test you have to be within 80% of their estimate to pass. Mine was pretty much on the line with their predictions so there wasn't any hassle.

    I have my joining instruction to start in September, so in some cases there doesn't have to be the 4 year med free time scale - as most people have said, each case is dealt with seperately to see how much it will affect you personally.

    Good luck though!