The military wants to know whether the patient can perform their duties without causing trouble, embarrassment, or expense. His or her welfare is distinctly less important. Emphasize the impact of your patient’s condition on job performance. If, however, the patient’s problem may result in death, suicide, or serious disability, stress this fact.
Military authorities do not like civilians to tell them what to do. They often believe that civilians don’t understand military needs. Therefore, it is unwise to offer an opinion of the patient’s ability to adjust to military service.
It is also unwise to directly express criticisms of the military. Instead, offer your opinion of the patient’s ability to adjust to specific factors which may be present in military service. If the patient requires a special adjustment you suspect the military could not provide, state the requirement. The exception to this rule is if you have previous military medical experience. In this case, cite your experience.
Some poor examples of medical evaluations are:
- This person should be discharged.
- This person will not be able to adjust to military life.
Excellent examples of evaluations include:
- This person should not be required to live or work in close quarters.
- This person should only be required to walk moderate distances.