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Eye waiver question

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AF M4

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So I'm in the midst of completing my initial Flying Class II physical and the only hurdle remaining is my vision. Basically I'm pretty near-sighted and although my vision falls within the individual boundaries of allowable myopia, through some strange formula that I've never heard of, when the measurements/diopters are combined I'm just over the requirement to the point where I need a waiver to say that my eyes don't show any evidence of retinal detachment or something. According to the flight waiver handbook, this requires an ophthalmogical exam complete with a dilated eye exam. I was just wondering if anyone else has had to do this, because I would really rather be a flight surgeon vs. a GMO. Thanks.
 

sethco

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So I'm in the midst of completing my initial Flying Class II physical and the only hurdle remaining is my vision. Basically I'm pretty near-sighted and although my vision falls within the individual boundaries of allowable myopia, through some strange formula that I've never heard of, when the measurements/diopters are combined I'm just over the requirement to the point where I need a waiver to say that my eyes don't show any evidence of retinal detachment or something. According to the flight waiver handbook, this requires an ophthalmogical exam complete with a dilated eye exam. I was just wondering if anyone else has had to do this, because I would really rather be a flight surgeon vs. a GMO. Thanks.

Yes, I did.

I now have a Flying Class IIC waiver (Restricting me which airframes I can fly, basically no high performance jets) for

1) Myopia

2) Red-Green Color Deficiencies

3) Defective Stereopsis (Bull*hit dx, but doesn't really matter anyway)
 

AF M4

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Thanks for the information. Does that mean that anyone with myopia is restricted from flying certain aircraft, or is there some sort of sliding scale where the worse your vision is the less you can fly?

Heh, I'm just thinking back to my med school class and all the reading we had to do. I think at least five people had to get glasses after tackling Robbins during second year.
 

sethco

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http://www.e-publishing.af.mil/shared/media/epubs/AFI48-123v3.pdf

Here is a link to the AFI which you will be become intimately familiar with as a flight surgeon.

The medical standards for flying duties start on page 36

The section that you are particularly interested in is page 43. Note that you are particularly interested in Flying Class II standards.

So, your refractive error can't be worse than +3.50 or -4.00. Your uncorrected distant visual acuity can't be worse than 20/400. Your vision has to be able to be corrected to 20/20 with glasses, contacts, surgery, or whatever. An astigmatism can't be greater than 2.00 and anisometropia can't be greater than 2.50. If any of these conditions are not met, you will need a waiver.

It is my assumption that my waiver had nothing to do with my Myopia, as I was still within the stated standards. Mine was due to the Color Vision and Depth Perception
 

Saipan

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http://www.e-publishing.af.mil/shared/media/epubs/AFI48-123v3.pdf

Here is a link to the AFI which you will be become intimately familiar with as a flight surgeon.

The medical standards for flying duties start on page 36

A section on page 41 says that "...surgery procedures, including Lasik are also disqualifying for entry to the Air Force and certain occupations ( i.e. flying or other special duty positions)."

What is the postion on inductees who have formerly undergone Lasik? Can the practice medicine in the Air Force? How about the other services? Or are they just restricted from flight duties (i.e. as a flight surgeon)?

The section on page 41 confuses me because it's very much a clear blanket statement, and yet I doubt that it is correct. Can anyone elucidate?
 

sethco

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PRK, LASIK, and LASEK are all waiverable for flying duties (Disqualifying means you will need a waiver. Keep in mind that not everything can be waivered though, i.e. Seizure Disorder, COPD, Severe Valvular Disease, etc.)
 

MaximusD

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AF M4, if you don't mind me asking... were you assigned to a GMO/FS tour or did you volunteer for it? If you were assigned, what specialty had you tried for in the match?

Thanks and good luck with the vision!
 

AF M4

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I had originally applied for an ER residency - usual bad luck tale: strong board scores, letters of rec, would have matched multiple places in the civilian world but had the misfortune to be in the class where the AF implemented the policy whereby if you didn't match to a military residency than you automatically had to do an internship followed by at least 2 years of GMO/FS. At the same time they cut most civvie deferments including those for ER. So I didn't match. D'oh.

But here's my dirty little secret. I had liked ER in med school, done 3 rotations in it and genuinely wanted very much to do it, but after 6+ months of IM in my prelim year and gaining a ton more experience with all the crap I would have had to deal with...well, I would have been burnt out by the end of my residency. So in my very specific case, a GMO/FS tour probably helps me in the long run. At least that's the way I'm choosing to look at it.
 

sethco

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But here's my dirty little secret. I had liked ER in med school, done 3 rotations in it and genuinely wanted very much to do it, but after 6+ months of IM in my prelim year and gaining a ton more experience with all the crap I would have had to deal with...well, I would have been burnt out by the end of my residency. So in my very specific case, a GMO/FS tour probably helps me in the long run. At least that's the way I'm choosing to look at it.

I have a friend that I went to AMP with that has similar feelings, except she realized medicine was not for her sometime around 3rd or 4th year. In actuality, going the military route saved her beaucoup money, because she is quitting medicine after finishing her time as a FS, without any debt to show for it. I should also add that it helps that by the time she is finished her commitment, her husband will be a fully trained Opthamologist (I guess that help ;))
 

AeroNat13

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PRK, LASIK, and LASEK are all waiverable for flying duties (Disqualifying means you will need a waiver. Keep in mind that not everything can be waivered though, i.e. Seizure Disorder, COPD, Severe Valvular Disease, etc.)

How about a waiver for no depth perception? I have mild +1.00 prescription, but have alternating esotropia (alternating monocular vision) although it is very difficult to physically see it if you look at my eyes because they move together and both look at an object, you have to know what you are looking for. Basically it means I have no depth perception although it is not progressive and have had it since a year old. Any chance for a waiver??? Anyone, give a little hope here...or maybe not?
 

sethco

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How about a waiver for no depth perception? I have mild +1.00 prescription, but have alternating esotropia (alternating monocular vision) although it is very difficult to physically see it if you look at my eyes because they move together and both look at an object, you have to know what you are looking for. Basically it means I have no depth perception although it is not progressive and have had it since a year old. Any chance for a waiver??? Anyone, give a little hope here...or maybe not?


Check the AFI from the previous post.

Defective Stereopsis=Defective Depth Perception

Your case seems more special that would probably be referred to AFMOA and then be referred to Brooks AFB (Aeromedical Consultation Service or ACS) for final determination. Rest assured that although this may be disqualifying for flying status (probably is waiverable), it is not disqualifying for military service ;)

Bomberdoc, do you agree?
 

BomberDoc

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Bomberdoc, do you agree?

Yes. I agree that it is disqualifying for flying. AFI 48-123v3 A4.12.1 says we (flight surgeons are Initial Flying Class II) are required to perform scanner duties i.e., look out the window and tell the crew if we are going to hit something. Flight docs seem to be able to get waivers for just about anything, though.

AFI 48-123v2 A3.11.8.3 isn't crystal clear, but makes me think that Esotropia is disqualifying for appointment, enlistment, or induction. However, you could probably get it waived because the military is so desperate for any warm body with a medical degree.

If you are crazy and really want to join the military, they will find a way to use you. And I emphasize the word, "USE."
 

AeroNat13

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Yes. I agree that it is disqualifying for flying. AFI 48-123v3 A4.12.1 says we (flight surgeons are Initial Flying Class II) are required to perform scanner duties i.e., look out the window and tell the crew if we are going to hit something. Flight docs seem to be able to get waivers for just about anything, though.

AFI 48-123v2 A3.11.8.3 isn't crystal clear, but makes me think that Esotropia is disqualifying for appointment, enlistment, or induction. However, you could probably get it waived because the military is so desperate for any warm body with a medical degree.

If you are crazy and really want to join the military, they will find a way to use you. And I emphasize the word, "USE."

Thank you, both of you.... for this information. I would never expected to to cleared for flying, but it doesn't hurt to ask.

I never knew that I could possibly have a problem just getting into the military because of this. To me I see fine, I can shoot a basketball better than others I know, as well as throw a baseball across a long field right to someone else. Although on paper I have no stereopsis, what gives.


Do you think the military could possibly restrict a choice of residency with this???, I mean I'm not looking to be a surgeon or anything, but they could do pretty much anything they want right.
 

BomberDoc

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Do you think the military could possibly restrict a choice of residency with this???, I mean I'm not looking to be a surgeon or anything, but they could do pretty much anything they want right.

Restrict type of aircraft when you are stuck as a GMO/FS, yes. Restrict residency choice based on the corrupt inefficient system, definitely. Restrict residency based on defective depth perception, nope. You're clear there.
 

73BARMYPgsp

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I think a sticky thread entitled "conditions you can get a waiver for" would be cool.

So far, every time I have seen one of these, the answer is "yes you can" unless you come in with a missing limb. :)

I posted it somewhere else, but I am wondering about BPPV. It comes and goes, and is nothing more than a hassle when it does. I have not mentioned it to anyone, because it started since I got into HPSP.
 

BomberDoc

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I think a sticky thread entitled "conditions you can get a waiver for" would be cool.

For the Air Force, it is AFI 48-123 and sethco linked to it above. Vol 2 Attachment 3 will tell you what is disqualifying for entrance into the AF. Vol 3 Attachment 4 will tell you what is disqualifying for aviation duty. Almost everything is waiverable so a list of these conditions would be pretty exhaustive. The most common stuff like GERD, HTN, benign vision problems like excessive refractive error or defective stereopsis, acne treated with oral meds (doxy, not minocycline), mild psoriasis, etc, etc, etc... are pretty much guaranteed a waiver for flying duties. If you have something wild, it might go up the chain a few steps, but flight medicine is in the business of writing waivers and business is good.
 
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