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Going up against the DR. LA County

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  • Going up against the DR. LA County

    1/07 injured back lifting. My Dr. gives me Meds and takes approx. 2 mos till I am 100% w/o discomfort. No history of back injury or problemsb/f this isolated injury. Pass everything, my file gets to the county Dr. Goldberg and he medically disqualifys me. Received news on 4/17. He states that the injury back in January is to recent that I have a great probability of reoccurrence while in the " academy"! Secondley he states that I dont meet the POST requirements referencing muscular/pain from the POST website. I am POST certified, so I dont have to attend the academy, which this DR. was unaware of, which is the reason of him DQing me and secondly I went to the Dr. that I saw for the back injury and he indicated after his thorough examination of me on 4/18 that I do fit within POST guidlines! I need some advise, for I dont want to come across as though I am telling him, the county Dr. that he is wrong. I hadnt missed any work which is construction or was I ever put on any kind of light or restrictive activity, I circuit train at a local gym( which I can provide a print out for showing 3-5 days a week) and my Dr. can provide a letter. How should I approach this. THe Dr. has a "GOD Complex" according to his staff!

  • #2
    Okay, keep in mind that when you go to the county's doctor, he's not working for you. The final answer is going to come from the agency you apply to. I would definitely suggest that you have your physician write a letter to the department stating that you are physically fit for the Academy. Will that be sufficient? That's going to be up to the involved department.

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    • #3
      Based on what you wrote, it sounds like the doctor is doing his job.

      I think you may be confusing a couple of issues here. Being POST certified has nothing to do with whether you currently meet the POST physical standards. For example. I recently retired because work related back injuries left me unable to meet the physical standards of my agency. Nonetheless, all of my POST certificates are still valid.

      Given the strenuous duties of law enforcement positions, an existing back injury places you at greater risk of suffering further, severe, work related back injuries. Under California law, if the new injury aggravates an old injury, the new employer is liable to pay for treating both injuries. This can create an undue financial burden for a law enforcement employer. In addition, California peace officers are entitled to up to a full year of pay, tax free, for each new, work related injury, so your potential lost time from work can create additional fiscal and staffing hardships for any potential law enforcement employer. Finally, the increased risk of further back injuries increases the potential for you to prematurely take a disability retirement, creating an additional financial hardship on the public. For these reasons, it is not unreasonable for agencies to DQ applicants with a prior back injury.

      Now, as far as what you can do - first, you need to get a copy of the physical standards for officers used by the agency you are applying with. You need to get both a copy of their medical/physical standards and grounds for DQ along with a copy of their physical tasks statement defining what each officer must be capable of performing (drag an unconscious; 200 pound victim 50 yards; pursue a suspect for 100 yards up a three degree grade; engage in a physical altercation for 120 seconds and handcuff a resisting suspect; etc.).

      Take these, along with a copy of the POST medical manual on ortho injuries http://www.post.ca.gov/selection/pdf/Musculo.pdf to your doctor. If he still feels you meet the physical criteria for the position and will testify to that in court, appeal your DQ to the civil service commission.
      Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

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