Author Topic: One day I'll make it...  (Read 3952 times)

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Offline AVI101

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One day I'll make it...
« on: December 13, 2016, 00:23:31 »
(ROTP applicant, current first year university student)

All seemed great..

 I started my application for the ROTP program under Pilot in September of 2015. Everything was going smoothly(CFAT, Interview, Initial Medical). I was off to Trenton for ACS in February 2016 knowing very well this would be the make or break point. After passing i breathed a sigh of relief (no one wants to have to go through that again, am I right?), Later that day i was on my way to Toronto for the Aircrew medical.

The morning of the medical is when my problems first began. Throughout the application process I made a promise to myself to answer everything as truthfully and to the best of my knowledge as I could so in the future nothing surprising could come up. Going through the questionnaire I came over the words " severe headaches/migraines" (here's where the "to the best of my knowledge" fails) I checked it off because I vaguely recalled I might've had an episode a year prior to the aircrew medical.

After being questioned on the symptoms, I tried to recall to the best of my knowledge, even answering questions about family history (i.e. parents, brothers, grandparents) which I was very unsure about and should've never done. After all was said and done I was hit with the news that I suffered a migraine with aura (a phrase I had never heard before that day) and it could be recurring due to family history of it, therefore I didn't receive the A1 aircrew factor required for pilot because of this issue. Believe me when I say this hit me out of nowhere that it was going to be a problem.

Being the person I am, I was concerned with my condition and went on my own (no recommendations or referrals) to be examined and further questioned by my family doctor and a Neurologist. My family doctor went on to confirm that there is no previously reported family history of migraines or severe headaches (My parents were furious that I diagnosed them on their behalf, as I was 100% wrong) and as well that what I experienced over a year ago was a normal tension headache. This is perfect I thought, it should clear up everything, but then again what’s one physician’s opinion to another, this is what led me to visit a specialist.

Yet again after questioning and examination the neurologist confirmed that what I experienced was a normal tension headache wrote a letter to confirm it and I was on my way.

Next it was time to appeal the decision, confident that this would overturn my current air factor decision (even had the support of my local recruitment Centre med staff). Time passes and I finally get a response "remain UNFIT" review in 4 years is possible.

Stunned by the decision to remain unfit, I began to prepare an appeal to the RCAF surgeon (the supreme court of the air force/the top of the chain of command I could appeal to). After submitting it to the RCAF surgeon it came back after being reviewed by their specialist, and yet I was told to still remain unfit, (Mind you I was able to bring my review period down from 4 years to 3 years).

After getting this decision I voiced my concerns once again, providing further evidence and facts, but I was simply told there will be no further review of my file until my observation period is up.

To make a long story short... Is there anything else I can do at this point? Or is my luck zero. Three years isn’t that long of a wait, but it’s the fact that I was wrongly diagnosed and that it exists in my file. This is what is driving me to continue to find a way to appeal or change the decision.

Any comments or suggestions are greatly appreciated.

Thanks

Notes:
I have been fighting with this appeal for the past year now

As well I completely dissected the aircrew medical requirements including AMA directives, which only states that Migraines and recurrent/chronic headaches will have an impact on my Aircrew factor. Again I never experienced any of the above

Offline mariomike

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Re: One day I'll make it...
« Reply #1 on: December 13, 2016, 08:09:39 »
Any comments or suggestions are greatly appreciated.

I have been fighting with this appeal for the past year now

Challenging a medical decision/Requesting second review 
http://army.ca/forums/index.php?topic=37404.25
2 pages.

Medical rejection seems strange 
https://army.ca/forums/index.php?topic=121893.0

Medical appeal 
http://army.ca/forums/index.php?topic=68680.0

Asked and answered in Ask a CAF Recruiter,

re: appeals
http://milnet.ca/forums/index.php/topic,123090.msg1440632.html#msg1440632

Q: I have finally sent in an appeal because it takes to long to get in to see a psychiatrist.

A: To appeal any type of Medical disqualification, will require reports from your civilian health care professionals.   

See also: Enrollment Medical,

Medical appeal  ( Locked )
http://army.ca/forums/index.php?topic=68680.0

appealing medical rejection
http://army.ca/forums/index.php?topic=119953.0

Appeals
http://army.ca/forums/index.php?topic=83309.0

Failed to meet Medical Standards
OP: I'm planning on appealing their decision
https://army.ca/forums/index.php/topic,110159.50.html
3 pages.

Ottawa Medical
OP:  is there any way I can appeal this decision? 
http://army.ca/forums/index.php?topic=35629.0

"Does not Meet Common Enrolment Medical Standards"
OP: Two weeks ago I received my notice that my appeal was successfully over turned.
http://army.ca/forums/index.php?topic=113415.0
2 pages.

etc...

As always,  Recruiting is yur most trusted source of information.





« Last Edit: December 13, 2016, 09:31:41 by mariomike »

Offline Pusser

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Re: One day I'll make it...
« Reply #2 on: December 13, 2016, 11:34:25 »
I think an important lesson for other to learn here is, don't diagnose yourself.  Whenever completing a medical questionnaire of this nature, it is important when answering the questions to ask first yourself whether a competent medical professional has determined something or whether you have simply experienced something that "kind of" sounds like what they're asking.  Correcting records afterwards is always difficult (and this is not limited to medical records).
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Offline Blackadder1916

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Re: One day I'll make it...
« Reply #3 on: December 13, 2016, 15:36:55 »
I think an important lesson for other to learn here is, don't diagnose yourself.  Whenever completing a medical questionnaire of this nature, it is important when answering the questions to ask first yourself whether a competent medical professional has determined something or whether you have simply experienced something that "kind of" sounds like what they're asking.  Correcting records afterwards is always difficult (and this is not limited to medical records).

I have to disagree with your premise that the OP mis-diagnosed himself (or even diagnosed himself at all).  In his post he competently narrated exactly how the process should unfold and (though it was unfortunately not in his favour) what was an appropriate outcome.  This is not a case of an applicant mistakenly checking a box on a form that was then used "in isolation" to determine a medical category.  Questionnaires used during medical examinations are simply one tool (a starting point) to elicit a medical history.  The follow-on is questioning by (in his case) the flight surgeon (usually a much experienced physician and qualified aviation medical examiner unless things have changed dramatically at CFEME) who will use that questionnaire as a basis to establish a patient history.  While the OP related that he was unclear about some aspects of his medical history, he answered honestly (and kudos to him, we have more than enough slugs who come on this means hinting at ways to weasel around the truth).  I won't/can't judge the assessment made by the Flt Surg since we don't know what transpired during his examination of the OP, however from his story my assumption is that it was far more than cursory in relation to any possible headaches.

As for the follow on examinations by his GP and a specialist and their reports in his attempt to appeal this decision, well, since any opinion that they provided would be based solely on what he told them (after the fact, and possibly in contradiction to his initial answers to the Flt Surg) it becomes a matter of dueling opinions and how many times have we heard the tale of Dr So and So saying "Little Johnny should have no problem coping with any aspect of military service despite . . .".  The only opinion that matters is that of the military medical authority.
« Last Edit: December 13, 2016, 15:41:15 by Blackadder1916 »
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Offline AVI101

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Re: One day I'll make it...
« Reply #4 on: December 13, 2016, 17:24:58 »
Thank you for the responses and opinions.

I do agree with you when you say that when I was examined the flight surgeon knew what they were doing and they know what to look out for in applicants (thats why they do what they do). But it was alarming when the flight surgeon told me (I didn't add this in the initial post) I need to be cautious when driving and performing other activities as you could seriously put yourself in danger. Which had me very confused as what i experienced over 2 years ago didn't hinder my abilities at all. This is what initially sparked the thought of maybe they got this wrong therefore leading me to my GP and specialist.

As well I've seen those posts myself on how other GP's state they believe little Johnny looks fine to fly a jet from their perspective, and yes i agree that it is not their call to make and all they can do is provide their professional opinion on the case and what they think the diagnoses is. Which is why when I was examined by a neurologist I asked could you state in your letter that I would be safe to fly in the military. He immediately shut down that question by saying that its not my call, and that I don't decide where the line is drawn. All the neurologist was able to do is provide a professional opinion on the case, which I stated above thats all gp's and specialists should be doing.

So this leads me to, what if the examining flight surgeons perspective is wrong. How could someone who briefly questioned me have the full perspective on what happened. In retrospect someone that has been following my medical history since birth, as well as my parents for 15 years before I came along(gp), and a someone with a Phd in neurology specializing in migraines/headaches, both concluded that my initial diagnoses was incorrect. Do these opinions hold no weight when it comes to influencing a military doctor.

Thanks again. 

Offline Pusser

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Re: One day I'll make it...
« Reply #5 on: December 14, 2016, 11:00:47 »
I have to disagree with your premise that the OP mis-diagnosed himself (or even diagnosed himself at all).  In his post he competently narrated exactly how the process should unfold and (though it was unfortunately not in his favour) what was an appropriate outcome.  This is not a case of an applicant mistakenly checking a box on a form that was then used "in isolation" to determine a medical category.  Questionnaires used during medical examinations are simply one tool (a starting point) to elicit a medical history.  The follow-on is questioning by (in his case) the flight surgeon (usually a much experienced physician and qualified aviation medical examiner unless things have changed dramatically at CFEME) who will use that questionnaire as a basis to establish a patient history.  While the OP related that he was unclear about some aspects of his medical history, he answered honestly (and kudos to him, we have more than enough slugs who come on this means hinting at ways to weasel around the truth).  I won't/can't judge the assessment made by the Flt Surg since we don't know what transpired during his examination of the OP, however from his story my assumption is that it was far more than cursory in relation to any possible headaches.

As for the follow on examinations by his GP and a specialist and their reports in his attempt to appeal this decision, well, since any opinion that they provided would be based solely on what he told them (after the fact, and possibly in contradiction to his initial answers to the Flt Surg) it becomes a matter of dueling opinions and how many times have we heard the tale of Dr So and So saying "Little Johnny should have no problem coping with any aspect of military service despite . . .".  The only opinion that matters is that of the military medical authority.

Considering that the OP said:

Going through the questionnaire I came over the words " severe headaches/migraines" (here's where the "to the best of my knowledge" fails) I checked it off because I vaguely recalled I might've had an episode a year prior to the aircrew medical.


It would seem to me that he vaguely recalled having a bad headache about a year earlier.  He did not indicate that he sought medical attention and was diagnosed with migraines.  Although migraines are bad headaches, not all bad headaches are migraines.  I would think that before answering that you that you have a serious medical condition, you should have at least consulted with a competent medical authority on the subject.
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