Medical condition

First of all I would like to say hello to everyone on here as this is my first post!

Right down to business.

I am 21 years old and currently undergoing an application for the Royal Air Force which is something I have wanted to do since living on base with my dad as a child. However the medical is proving to be a massive pain in the arse and although the medical requirements are the same I am hoping I may have more luck with the Navy as I really want to work on aircraft and if the RAF completely flat out refuse to give me a chance this will be my next stop.

When I was in school I suffered from a heart abnormality which was basically an irregular heart rate (beating out of rythm) and this caused me to black out from time to time although in some people it has triggers mine did not have any triggers that could be identified and I was told it was a common thing in teenagers and I should grow out of it. I remained under medical care as an outpatient for several years.

As of october 2006 I was discharged from all medical care as I had 1 year clear of blackouts and the abnormality had returned to normal. My specialist seemed happy I had grown out of the condition and discharged me without any operations or medication of any sort and I have lived a completely normal life for 2 years now which includes regular physical activity (I run twice a week and play rugby twice a week and swim at least once a fortnight) also I am used to dealing with stressfull situations and I have had NO problems at all in 2 years.

I am bradycardic however the specialist was happy it was down to my level of fitness and it is not symptomatic in any way.

The RAF took a while to come to a decision after it went to cranwell and got all the way to the cardio specialist and from my medical records rejected my application because of the abnormality despite the fact I no longer have it and I am currently appealling the decision and getting my specialist involved who should explain that the condition is of no risk to me any more and it seems I have grown out of it. I did mention upon my discharge from medical care that I intended to join the military and was told there is no reason why I couldn't.

So anyway does anyone have any experience with this sort of thing and can they tell me if I would be wasting my time with an application with the RN should the appeal not go my way. I know I am not automatically disqualified and the case would be referred to someone higher up after my medical but if anyone has any advice please let me know as I have been determined to work in the military as an avionics engineer for a very very long time! Although the RAF is my real passion the Navy is still something I could see myself doing if the RAF insisted I can't join.

Sorry for the long post fellas :)
God is that all, I thought you were going to say you had crabs or something.

Last point first. You won't be wasting your time in applying, if you don't apply then you will never know and that would be worse.

I know nothing about medicals matters except I had a stroke while serving in Submarines and they kept me on and allowed me to go to sea. It was probably because they were short of men, but that is beside the point, I continued.

Anyway best of luck with your appeal and if that fails, here's to life in a blue suit.

It might be a couple of days before you get a proper answer, and I doubt you will get one tonight, matlots are lazy bastards and being off watch will all now be in their pits.
Thanks fella!

haha yeah I have quite a rich medical history with that condition as it took them forever to find the problem! I did suffer from migraines in my earlier teenage years as well but I grew out of them very quickly and I was diagnosed with depression around the time my blackouts where causing the most problems but my doc who I saw recently (for sorting out my appeal) agreed it was just low mood and typical mum blows it way out of proportion to be fair I was more concerned about my future as I couldn't go to school when I was constantly in hospital for tests and such so yeah no real problems there and if the depression was an issue I could very easily get reports on that as I wasn't suicidal it was just trivial crap (still had normal social life and was able to study fine as I got decent grades in the end). It seems that this previous heart condition is coming back to haunt me haha the medical examiner upon looking at my medical records didn't think it would be a problem but RAF Cranwell decided to be difficult I guess =[

Not a chance in hell am I giving up untill I am told by the RAF I have zero chance and then the Navy will deal with the same level of determination as well ;)

And looking at the time I aint suprised if they are in their pits I should be too!
Just bumping the thread in case any does have any advice for me.

Also seen my GP the other day who examined my medical records and insisted all my tests have been clear for 2 years and there is no medical evidence to suggest im at any risk in the future the abnormality disapeared and im no more likely than anyone else to re-develop it.

Kind of frustrated that it's preventing me doing the one thing I have always wanted to do although I understand their point I am at no medical risk. Got my specialist sending a supporting letter along but im not feeling too optimistic heh.

Noticed 1 or 2 people on here in the medical trades so if you spot this post please get in touch with any advice you may have it would be really appreciated :)


War Hero
First of all not qualified in the medical field but: RAF & RN Medical standards for entry are the same as dictated by that illustrious and elusive publication JSP 346.

Just to clarify the RN medical referral system:

(In order to be passed fit on the day, you must have completed your eyetest also.)

If there is a medical condition requiring further investigation before you can be categorically classed unfit or passed fit, the Medical Officer (MO) will write, with your permission, to your GP requesting further detail. They typically take up to 4 weeks to respond.

(With asthma they often send a questionnaire for you GP to complete & return).

You can speed things along by ringing your GP's Practice Manager and asking them to look out for the letter & reply as soon as possible.

If the MO can make a definitive decision from the information provided by your GP, then you will be passed fit/or otherwise.

If further detail is required & is available locally, the MO will again request it from a hospital or wherever the information is held (up to another 4 weeks).

Alternatively if the information is such that the outcome is inconclusive, then the information is forwarded to the Senior Medical Officer (Service Entry), soon to be relocated at the Institute of Naval Medicine (INM) in Alverstoke, near Portsmouth in the newly named Aviation Medical Division. If the SMO can may a definitive decision, referring to the respective specialists in the relevant medical area, then that is passed back to the MO. Typically the turn-around time is within 4 weeks.

If the SMO cannot make a definitive decision, then an appointment is made with a specialist in the relevant medical area of expertise. This can be at the INM Alverstoke, Guys London or Birmingham. The RN/RM pays for your rail ticket (and accommodation, if necessary) for you to attend this appointment. Specialist medical appointments usually take over 4 weeks to arrange.

The medical referral system involves the same personalities for Navy, RAF, Army as it's a Tri-Service organisation. Odds are if you are refused entry into the RAF, the same doctor will write the same letter on different headed note-paper for the Navy.

Hope that helps those in similar situations.

NotmeChief said:
I had a stroke while serving in Submarines and they kept me on and allowed me to go to sea.
Again, the standards for Entry are completely different than those already serving, or those undertaking a similar civilian job three reasons:

1. Probabilities- if you have a known medical condition upon entry, experience has taught that some conditions have a high chance of re-occurring or further complicating and as a Duty of Care, the service will not risk employing someone in that category, as medical cover cannot always be guaranteed.

2. If a condition develops whilst in-service, then as a Duty of Care, the service realistically appraises your employability prospects & if it is considered you are too high a risk, you are medically discharged. The fact that you may know someone who had a heart attack climbing Mount Everest who is still serving, for example, has got bugger all to do with someone with a similar condition that hasn't joined yet. Again it's no use quoting someone else's supposedly similar condition as a reason for appeal.

3. Cost versus Risk: You want to minimise tax-payers expenditure if you can knowingly foresee a high risk. Equally the standards are very high -you don't want someone, for example, with a history of psychological problems or a history of dishonesty let loose with a spanner on an aircraft.

Either way, Good Luck. Stranger things happen at sea and all that.
Thanks for the reply fella appreciated. I am going to continue pushing on with my application and wont give up untill every option I have is exhausted!

If im being completely honest I think the specialist at Cranwell was being far too cautious around my medical history. If it was a condition that is well known to return or there was a medical reason for me being at increased risk fair enough but this particular condition was a common thing for teenagers apparantly and I was told I would grow out of it. I have clearly grown out of the condition now and there is no reason it would happen again. If it did happen again it would be a coincidence really and not linked to the history of it.

In the words of my specialist when I was first discharged as an outpatient "I can't say it wont happen again like I can't say you wont get hit by a bus tomorrow but there is no medical reason for it to happen"

I will keep fighting the decision anyway maybe more time clear of the condition will help I don't know.

Thanks for the help though I will keep my fingers crossed! :)


I always love it when civilian specialists pronounce that "there is no reason you can't join the military" without any knowledge at all of Service medical standards!

Sounds like you had a condition called "Prolonged Q-T Syndrome", which isn't uncommon. Depends on what your ECG (heart trace) is like at the mo.

I know you want to join, but don't fall into the trap of "they're just being over-cautious". Do you want to work in a dangerous situation with someone who is at risk of passing out on you? We are cautious for a reason!


Lantern Swinger
Sounds cruel, but would i like to serve where my co-worker passes out, suffers a slow heartrate and has a history of migrane???

Well, to be honest, "NO." is the obvious answer, but good luck in wanting to join and not be some lazy arse roaming the streets.

You could always try the RAF Reserves, navy reserves...but I think (not 100% sure) they ask for similar entry requirements...... OR you could join the (cough cough) TA, infantry/cannon meat. :bootyshake:
fly_past the migraines are from when I was 13 haha the RAF cleared me on that as being no problem at all. As for the passing out I have absolutely nothing wrong with me as far as medical tests go I am clear if I did pass out again it wouldn't be anything to do with my medical history bud.

Angrydoc I do understand the medical requirements and why the military are so strict which is why I am not feeling too optimistic even though my specialist is backing me up :(

As for my ECG the last one I had around 1 and half years ago had no abnormalities at all apart from bradycardia but every specialist I saw said bradycardia was not related to the blackouts and was down to my overall physical fitness as I have been involved in rugby and athletics since I was 6 years old. I am still bradycardic now with a resting heart rate of 40-50BPM but it causes no problems and actually seems to benefit me when it comes to my running and rugby.

Apart from the bradycardia my ECG is 100% normal :) Might it be worth requesting my specialist to do another ECG so the military may see a more recent one? The medical examiner who looked at me said all ECG's I had before I was discharged from medical care where 100% clear and he didn't think Cranwell would say no :(

Oh Angrydoc from a medical point of view do you think the military would be more happy if I was to apply at a later date like 1 or 2 years later which would put me 3-4 years clear of symptoms and 2-3 years away from outpatient monitoring. Anything I can do to work with the military to prove my fitness and generally show my dedication and determination :) Medical examiner who saw me for my RAF medical did suggest finding out if they would accept an application later so if you know anything about how that may be an option please let me know :)



You will have another ECG done in your medical - don't worry about arranging one yourself! It's a tricky one - if your ECG is normal and you are symptom-free then I would think you would be referred to a Service physician to make an employability decision.
Ah excellent well I have had dozens of ECG's over the years so I am confident my ECG will remain normal. If I am given the chance to do an ECG hopefully it may give me a chance to prove im fine.

Bradycardia is normal for me and will be detected in an ECG. Will they see a problem with it? It's not symptomatic though and never has been although doctors freak out at first haha once I tell them it's normal for me they are happy though :)

Also the medical examiner I saw recommended I mention my overall physical activity so may it help my case if I mention how I am generally very physically fit?

Really appreciate the advice though angrydoc I may not get in but damnit that wont stop me from trying everything :D
Hey all, 1st post (thought I've been reading for a while)
When applying for an officer commission (got AIB for MO in a few months), would a hip discomfort bar entry? I emphasise that it has no effect on normal range of movement (nor playing sport/exercise). It is not painful, but is under investigation (scheduled for an MRa in a month or so).

Any help kindly received, cheers
i previously suffered from a similar medical condition as the 1 mentioned above, however no obvious cause was ever found by my local GP or consultant at the local hospital.

I was then referred to one of the top neurologists in the country at oxford. there i underwent treatment which was very successful. when discharged told that there was "no medical grounds for an application into the military to be unsuccessful". However i have always been concerned with this as the military can be funny about these things sometimes.

I have been clear of the issue for 3 years ago and wont be making an application for a commission for at least another year yet, does anybody have any idea if this will prevent me from joining as a warfare officer? also at what point in the application process do they view your medical records if at all?

All the info on this site has been really helpful and greatly appreciated



You posted the same question in another thread - advice is the same (common sense really) - if an MRA is planned then we'd wait to see the result of that, and you will probably be referred to an RN Consultant in Orthopaedic Surgery for an opinion.


If you have no symptoms and the joint is normal on clinical examination then I don't see there being a problem. You can speed the process up by seeing your GP prior to your medical (which is at the time of your AIB) and getting relevant letters and investigation results photocopied so they don't have to be subsequently requested. Good luck!


War Hero
orangejuice said:
ok thanks, at what point does the MO get hold of your medical records or is simply not declaring a previous condition an option?
You can be discharged in the first 56 days of entry on medical grounds if a known medical condition comes to light which you have not disclosed at the AFCO medical.

Similarly you can be discharged for making a "fraudulent application" (after incurring the related penalties) if you do not fully disclose your previous medical history.

Frankly, I'd be pretty p*ssed off if someone in my team had, for example, an asthma attack when my primary aim was to put a fire out before the ship blew-up.

Your call.
Ninja_Stoker said:
orangejuice said:
ok thanks, at what point does the MO get hold of your medical records or is simply not declaring a previous condition an option?

Frankly, I'd be pretty p*ssed off if someone in my team had, for example, an asthma attack when my primary aim was to put a fire out before the ship blew-up.
yep cuouldnt agree with you more and as far as i can see i shouldnt have a problem so its all good :) , i suppose like many people i will just have to wait and see on the day as to what the MO thinks
Just out of interest then, if my MRI arthrogram comes back showing a labral tear where do I stand. Can I still join? Do I have to wait to be 12months clear after surgery (if there is to be any?) or is it a complete ban from service?

Thanks for all the PM's i've had from people about this.

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