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Could a Medical Discharge disqualify me?

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  • Could a Medical Discharge disqualify me?

    Hey my name is Kevin; and I recently got discharged (Honorably) from the Army Reserves for a heart attack that I had over a year ago. It wasn't severe; only mild and I spent a few days in the hospital. They couldn't find a cause. My cardiologist says I am perfectly able to function, I can run, lift, and do any other physical activity with no problem. I have passed all my stress tests and everything else along with taking minimal medication for it. According to him anyway I should have no issue getting into LE.

    Now I have heard that some departments will disqualify for heart attacks; but I have seen people with heart attacks still do well in the LE field. Could it still potentially disqualify me, or do most police departments usually ask if you had a heart attack or similar issues?

    One one of the departments I applied for I recently passed the physical agility test and scored in the top. I should be hearing back from them soon regarding an oral interview. I am still in tip top shape and weigh perfectly for most physical standards. (sadly the Army didn't think so)

    As far as the rest of my record I can honestly say I am completely clean, no drug use, alcohol use or any bad run ins with LE. I was a good boy

  • #2
    Your only real hope at finding an accurate answer is to contact any department you wish to apply to and ask to speak with a recruiter or whoever is in charge of hiring. Run your question by them and they will let you know if it's a DQ for their department or not. As you said, some may disqualify you and some may not. It's agency specific (per their hiring guidelines), therefore any answer you receive from us will be pure speculation.
    sigpic

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    • #3
      I agree totally with my colleague's reply. It would be a diservice for us to speculate on your situation. That said, I sincerely hope things work out for you.

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      • #4
        I agree with both above responses.......


        HOWEVER many departments deal with so called "heart bills" where any heart and lung related diseases are automatically considered "job related" and eligible for mandatory retirement with benefits.

        No department that is under those rules is going to hire------or should hire someone with a pre existing heart condition.
        Since some people need to be told by notes in crayon .......Don't PM me with without prior permission. If you can't discuss the situation in the open forum ----it must not be that important

        My new word for the day is FOCUS, when someone irritates you tell them to FOCUS

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Iowa #1603 View Post


          No department that is under those rules is going to hire------or should hire someone with a pre existing heart condition.
          ^^^^This...

          It all depends on the department you apply to and what their medical requirements are. Some departments have extensive tests for your heart/lungs etc, and small things like that can DQ you. Call around and find out, and if you are really worried, find out what their physical entails and pay to have your private Dr. do those tests for you if possible. It might save you some time and headaches to figure out ahead of time if you will be DQ'ed before you go through all the BS that goes into the testing process.
          I disaprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it. -Voltaire

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          • #6
            In my state as well, heart injuries are also presumed to be work related for peace officers. As a result, getting a department to hire someone with a pre-existing heart condition is fairly difficult. Under most state's workers compensation laws, all you have to do is make a pre-existing injury worse by 1% through a work related injury and the employer can be on the hook to pay for your entire medical bills for that injury for the rest of your life. With heart issues, you can be talking about hundreds of thousands of dollars in future medical bills.

            Here are California's cardio medical standards for peace officer applicants. http://lib.post.ca.gov/Publications/Cardio.pdf While they are California's standards, the principles behind them are fairly universal throughout the US. Take them to your doctor and ask him if you meet them. That should give you a fairly good idea as to where you stand.

            As a side note, standards will vary from agency to agency. Most will be very strict on the medical while a few may be lax. You just need to shop around.
            Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

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            • #7
              Don't know about your situation but there was a guy in my academy who had medical issues and was given a "General" discharge.

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              • #8
                Sorry to hear about your troubles. This is just speculation, but...
                If you were discharged from the USA, it stands to reason (from an employer's point of view) that your condition prohibits or limits your ability to perform your military (not dissimilar to law enforcement) job, or at least places you at some increased risk. This makes you a liability. Your ability to pass a physical agility test is a check in the box, and not a reliable indicator of wellness, though I am happy to hear you are in reasonably good physical condition. To be perfectly honest, with lawsuits being the norm and not the exception these days, I don't believe a police department will hire you given your medical history. It's nothing personal, but a prior cardiac event represents a huge risk (real or imagined) to a police department. Good luck with everything.

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                • #9
                  Thanks everyone; I just got an email back with the dept I was applying for and they said its not an issue as long as I pass their physical and my Dr gives the okay. Im still on the oral interview list for a small department in KY; I'm ready for that one

                  It looks like I will be back in the military soon; the Air National Guard said they can take me as long as my cardiologist gives the approval and a letter stating I can go in (which he has) so hopefully I can get in and go active later on.

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                  • #10
                    Sci,

                    MEPS is the body that will recommend you for a waiver or not for the ANG, NOT your PMD. Just so you understand that there is an extensive waiver process, you were discharged from the service, (what's your RE code?), and the military is not granting many wiavers at this time.
                    Free Deke O'Mally!!!

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                    • #11
                      Hey everyone; I managed to contact a couple other local PDs that were hiring they said that a medical discharge shouldn't be an issue as long as physical is passed and there are no restrictions (I have no medical restrictions)

                      I passed most of the current tests with the Ohio State Highway Patrol and they told me a medical discharge would not disqualify me I just need to pass background, poly, etc which I know I will pass as I don't really have 'past' that could be considered questionable. Never did drugs or anything else that can show up.

                      Thanks everyone for the advice; I heard the Academy is harder than Marine Boot. I certainly love a challenge.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Scifiman View Post
                        Hey everyone; I managed to contact a couple other local PDs that were hiring they said that a medical discharge shouldn't be an issue as long as physical is passed and there are no restrictions (I have no medical restrictions)

                        I passed most of the current tests with the Ohio State Highway Patrol and they told me a medical discharge would not disqualify me I just need to pass background, poly, etc which I know I will pass as I don't really have 'past' that could be considered questionable. Never did drugs or anything else that can show up.

                        Thanks everyone for the advice; I heard the Academy is harder than Marine Boot. I certainly love a challenge.
                        Congrats on the waivers, or whatever the proper term is.
                        I'm curious as to what academy is harder than Marine Boot camp.
                        Judge me by the enemies I have made----Unknown

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