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Thread: MEB/Fitness For Duty Determination

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    Default MEB/Fitness For Duty Determination

    Looking for some input/advice from anybody who's been through this or is familiar with it.

    As I've mentioned before, I have a gait problem that slows me down on the run, the issue has been diagnosed by a podiatrist and I can and have been succesfully passing my PT tests doing the walk.

    The problem is that I have to get put on a profile every time that I test so that I can do the walk.

    This means that every six months, just before I'm due to test, I have to go to my civilian podiatrist (I'm a reservist) who writes up a letter that basically says "TSgt CLSE has a gait abnormality that results in exertional compartment syndrome and limits his ability to run. It won't get better, but it won't get worse."

    I did this for 3 PT tests with no problem, I get put on the profile for 30 days, no duty restrictions and no mobility restrictions.

    Last summer, I went in to get my profile done and the doc that I was talking to was new, so she did my paperwork, put me on the walk, no duty or mobility restrictions. But, she wants to check with one of the other docs before she lets me go.

    He comes in and starts asking me about the condition, I explain it and give him a quick history. He goes into a spiel about how they need to be sure about what it is because they need to know that I can safely deploy. He says "We need to know that you can carry 40 pounds of gear in 115 degree heat". I tell him "I've done that, went to Afghanistan and Kuwait and I train at home with a 45 pound ruck in 100+ degree heat."

    Doc: "Well, we need to be sure, we don't know for sure what's wrong."

    They give me paperwork to take back to my civilian podiatrist. It's a two hour drive each way to see my podiatrist and if it's a work day, I have to use my sick leave from my civilian job to cover it.

    So, I go back, get the info, send it to the Med group and a couple of weeks later I'm told there's no problem.

    Fast forward to this past January. I go in for my next profile to do the walk.

    The doc who's doing my profile looks at my stuff and immediately says "I don't think you should be worldwide qualified if you can't do the run on the PT test, but I can't decide that, so I referring your records to a deployment assessment working group." We have the same conversation about me being able to deploy, I tell him I have and how I train, blah, blah.

    He says "Well, I don't think the 40lbs and 100 yards is valid and as far as I'm concerned, anybody who can't do the run on the PT test shouldn't be deployable."

    I was getting ready to go to a tech school (another story there), so a couple of weeks later, I call the med group to find out what's going on so I don't get to the school and then get told that I'm no-points/no-pay because the med group referred my stuff to AFRC.

    I get in to see a different doc, he looks at my stuff and then starts telling me that my problem may not be exertional compartment syndrome, I could have peripheral artery disease or some other circulatory problem and at high risk of a heart attack.

    He doesn't bother to send me for any testing or recommend that I get any done, he just says that he can't make the decision and he's going to refer my stuff to the DAWG again, but he's also going to recommend that it be sent to the AFRC Surgeon General because they're the only ones with the authority to make the decision.

    I later found out that he wrote in the notes that he was recommeding that I be made non-worldwide qualified and restricted to deployments w/in CONUS at bases with fixed MTFs.

    So, basically, he's saying that he doesn't believe my podiatrist and he thinks I could have some other problem, but has no proof and isn't even going to check or recommend that I get checked for any of those problems and based on that, he's going to send that to AFRC and recommend that I be disqualified for worldwide deployment.

    I've since been notified that I've been put on a no-points/no-pay profile because neither the doc or the clinic bothered to tell me that they gave me a suspense to get paperwork from my civilian docs.

    As I was writing this, I got a 469 from my UHM telling her about my needing to bring the paperwork in. I saw the doc during February drill, they sent the 469 to my UHM on March 25th with a suspense of March 31st. Nice.

    I'm sick of dealing with this crap. My chain of command has thrown up their hands and says they have no control over it because it's the med group.

    Does anybody know if there is some way that I can force this up to AFRC to have them make a decision. I know they could make a decision that I don't like, but at least I won't have to go through the Marx Brothers school of medicine every six months and deal with this crap repeatedly.
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    Default Re: MEB/Fitness For Duty Determination

    "Well, I don't think the 40lbs and 100 yards is valid and as far as I'm concerned, anybody who can't do the run on the PT test shouldn't be deployable."

    What a load of manure. I love to run, think it's a great pastime and would do it even if I didn't need to for the AF. Having said that, there are a lot of conditions I can think of where a person is qualified to serve but can't run. That doesn't mean that you can't deploy, or it shouldn't.

    If they don't want to accept the diagnosis of the specialist (podiatrist) then why did they send you to him or her in the first place? And why aren't they paying for a second opinion in that case?

    I'm sure some people try to game the system by going to a civilian doc to get out of the run, but that doesn't mean everyone does.
    Newton's First Law of Motion

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    Default Re: MEB/Fitness For Duty Determination

    Quote Originally Posted by CLSE View Post
    He says "Well, I don't think the 40lbs and 100 yards is valid and as far as I'm concerned, anybody who can't do the run on the PT test shouldn't be deployable."
    A Doc with a persoanl agenda. I would file an IG complaint.

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    Default Re: MEB/Fitness For Duty Determination

    Quote Originally Posted by technomage1 View Post
    "Well, I don't think the 40lbs and 100 yards is valid and as far as I'm concerned, anybody who can't do the run on the PT test shouldn't be deployable."

    What a load of manure. I love to run, think it's a great pastime and would do it even if I didn't need to for the AF. Having said that, there are a lot of conditions I can think of where a person is qualified to serve but can't run. That doesn't mean that you can't deploy, or it shouldn't.

    If they don't want to accept the diagnosis of the specialist (podiatrist) then why did they send you to him or her in the first place? And why aren't they paying for a second opinion in that case?

    I'm sure some people try to game the system by going to a civilian doc to get out of the run, but that doesn't mean everyone does.
    I have to go to the civilian podiatrist because a) I'm a reservist and b) it's a non-duty-related issue according to the Air Force, so I don't have any choice.

    They can't actually do any testing on my unless on I'm on orders over 30 days, but they can recommend that I get testing done and could even specify on the 469 that I need to get X, Y and Z tests done to screen for whatever they think is wrong.

    None of them have recommended or required any testing, they just pull stuff out of their asses and completely ignore the fact that this is an overuse injury that results from running and I never exhibited any symptoms until I had to run for the PT test. Apparently, that is just a random coincidence to them.
    Perfect is the enemy of good enough.
    The pursuit of excellence only for the sake of achieving excellence is a waste:
    Time and energy spent pursuing excellence in one area is
    time and energy that could have been used to improve in another area.

  5. #5
    Tak Guest

    Default Re: MEB/Fitness For Duty Determination

    Judging from size of your post, you probably want a serious reply.
    As an ex safety guy, i suggest the next time your hurt by either working
    or running a pt test, you immediately fill out a safety report indicating
    injury. This should route through your unit or wing safety rep and there
    should be a suggestion of way ahead. This will make an official duty
    tie in and log in case they take action later against you. These reports are
    signed off on by commanders, which will keep them in loop and could
    help with med group, as,they work in conjunction with safety. My point
    is,if no one cares about your issue, flag it as an injury, it will get
    attention, especially if work related. Document everything, ask drs to
    put things in writing, on base you can change pcms or ask for second
    opinion. Ask for references from drs,beyond opinion. Actually, the more
    i type the less i remember what your issue was or what im saying.

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    Default Re: MEB/Fitness For Duty Determination

    Quote Originally Posted by CLSE View Post
    The doc who's doing my profile looks at my stuff and immediately says "I don't think you should be worldwide qualified if you can't do the run on the PT test, but I can't decide that, so I referring your records to a deployment assessment working group." We have the same conversation about me being able to deploy, I tell him I have and how I train, blah, blah.

    He says "Well, I don't think the 40lbs and 100 yards is valid and as far as I'm concerned, anybody who can't do the run on the PT test shouldn't be deployable."
    This is a load of crap. I used to work the pre deployment line for base exercises. Public health always had the table next to mine on the line. During those exercises public health practices deciding if a person is qualified for the deployment. In all of the exercises I sat in on the deployment location was either Iraq or Afghanistan. I overheard the public health doctors talking about both exercise and real world profiles (they normally brought their normal work with them to keep them busy between groups). This is where I learned the basic rule is that in general if you can run 100 yards without stopping you are normally worldwide qualified. In my opinion the run 100 yards with a 40lb pack is all that matters. Unless you are in some hardcore AFSC I cannot imagine a time where anyone would be required to run more than 100 yards during battle. If I am taking fire I am either going to keep my cover location or run to the nearest cover location. I highly doubt that location is going to be a mile and a half away.

  7. #7
    JD2780 Guest

    Default Re: MEB/Fitness For Duty Determination

    Get a lawyer that specializes in this stuff. A bunch of TACPs got the boot for the ground based controller physical that was thrown into place with out thinking. They got medical retirement and had been in about 8-9 years. Have them review everything. Be nosey about the process. I wasn't as nosey as I should've been and got screwed. You're your most enthusiastic advocate. Take advantage of it.

  8. #8
    JD2780 Guest

    Default Re: MEB/Fitness For Duty Determination

    Quote Originally Posted by SomeRandomGuy View Post
    This is a load of crap. I used to work the pre deployment line for base exercises. Public health always had the table next to mine on the line. During those exercises public health practices deciding if a person is qualified for the deployment. In all of the exercises I sat in on the deployment location was either Iraq or Afghanistan. I overheard the public health doctors talking about both exercise and real world profiles (they normally brought their normal work with them to keep them busy between groups). This is where I learned the basic rule is that in general if you can run 100 yards without stopping you are normally worldwide qualified. In my opinion the run 100 yards with a 40lb pack is all that matters. Unless you are in some hardcore AFSC I cannot imagine a time where anyone would be required to run more than 100 yards during battle. If I am taking fire I am either going to keep my cover location or run to the nearest cover location. I highly doubt that location is going to be a mile and a half away.
    Valid point. Now the fatties may get over excited, then sprint that 100m then die of heart attack

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    Default Re: MEB/Fitness For Duty Determination

    Quote Originally Posted by JD2780 View Post
    Get a lawyer that specializes in this stuff. A bunch of TACPs got the boot for the ground based controller physical that was thrown into place with out thinking. They got medical retirement and had been in about 8-9 years. Have them review everything. Be nosey about the process. I wasn't as nosey as I should've been and got screwed. You're your most enthusiastic advocate. Take advantage of it.

    I remember you talking about that, any possibility that you'll be able to appeal or somethinig and get medical retirement?
    Perfect is the enemy of good enough.
    The pursuit of excellence only for the sake of achieving excellence is a waste:
    Time and energy spent pursuing excellence in one area is
    time and energy that could have been used to improve in another area.

  10. #10
    JD2780 Guest

    Default Re: MEB/Fitness For Duty Determination

    Quote Originally Posted by CLSE View Post
    I remember you talking about that, any possibility that you'll be able to appeal or somethinig and get medical retirement?
    Yes I'm in the process of gathering my stuff now. Also getting my congressman involved. Since per other AF flight surgeons I was never official diagnosed, therefore shouldn't have been DQ'd from the AFsc. Lots of BS.

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