DODMERB Physical for Contracting/Commissioning


DoDMERB (The Department of Defense Medical Examination Review Board) is the Department of Defense Agency responsible for the determination of medical qualification of applicants for appointment to a United States Service Academy, the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) Programs of the United States Armed Forces, and other programs as assigned by the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs.

The DoDMERB goal is to accomplish the mission with the highest degree of accuracy, at the minimum cost for the government and the applicant, in the least amount of time.

The DoDMERB staff is comprised of approximately 21 military and 23 civilians. The military is represented by members of the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard. The Director position is rotated among the Services. The current Director is COL John Wempe, MC, USA.



The following are some common medical disqualifications for the DoDMERB Medical Exam. THIS LIST IS NOT ALL INCLUSIVE. The only sure way to determine your medical fitness is to apply to the Academy and take a medical exam. We cannot make medical assessments over the phone or via email.

Color Vision

Color perception deficiency, either complete or partial. Candidates who fail the American Optical Company PIP test shall be considered qualified if they pass the FALANT test.


History of TMJ. Candidates must have sufficient teeth, natural or artificial, in functional occlusion to ensure satisfactory incision and mastication. Five or more teeth with multi-surface caries must be corrected prior to arrival. Current orthodontic appliances for continued treatment are disqualifying. Retainer appliances are permissible, provided all active orthodontic treatment has been satisfactorily completed.

Ears and Hearing

Moderate hearing loss in the 500 to 4000Hz frequencies. History of middle ear surgery. Abnormalities of the external ear. Use of hearing aids. Perforated eardrum within 120 days of physical exam.

Endocrine System and Metabolism

History of goiter (persistent) hyperthyroidism, thyroiditis, hyperparathyroidism, hypoparathyroidism, or diabetes mellitus.


All anomalies in the number, the form, the proportion and the movements of the extremities that produce noticeable deformity or interfere with function. Torn cartilage, unstable ACL or PCL, or surgical correction of any ligaments if unstable or symptomatic. Chronic knee pain syndrome. Flatfoot when accompanied by symptoms. Use of rigid, prescribed orthotics. Any surgical procedure on any joint during the past six months.

Eyes and Vision

Uncorrected visual acuity worse than 20/400 in either eye. Vision not correctable to 20/20 in either eye. Refractive error exceeding plus or minus 8.00 diopters (spherical equivalent). Astigmatism exceeding 3.00 diopters and anisometropia exceeding 3.5 diopters. Refractive error corrected by orthokeratology, kerato-refractive, PRK, laser, or any other corneal enhancement.

Genitourinary System

Horseshoe kidney or absence of one kidney. Atrophy or absence of both testicles. Undescended testicle. Active or difficult to treat genital herpes (even if asymptomatic). Bilateral kidney stones or single kidney stone with one year of the exam.

Head, Scalp, Face and Neck

Abnormalities which interfere with wearing military equipment or are disfiguring.

Heart and Vascular System

History of hypertension. Valvular, septal, congenital or other defects.

Lungs and Chest

History of pneumothorax within the past year if due to simple trauma or surgery, or a history within the past three years if spontaneous. Asthma, including reactive airway disease, exercise-induced bronchospasm or asthmatic bronchitis, reliably diagnosed and symptomatic after the 13th birthday is disqualifying. Reliable diagnostic criteria may include any of the following elements: Substantiated history of cough, wheeze, chest tightness and/or shortness of breath, which persists or recurs over a prolonged period of time, generally more than 12 months.

Nervous System

Diagnosed seizure disorder since the age of five. Medications to control epilepsy within five years of the examination. Any chronic pain syndrome. Any history of recurrent headaches or frequent or severe headaches within the past three years.

Nose and Sinuses

Malformations or deformities that interfere with speech or breathing. Chronic rhinitis inadequately controlled, or allergy desensitization program within one year of accession.

Psychiatric and Personality Disorders

Psychotic episodes. Character and behavior disorders. History of depression requiring meds, outpatient treatment or hospitalization. Bedwetting/sleepwalking/eating disorders past the age of 12. Attention deficit, hyperactivity disorder or learning disability such as dyslexia, which interferes with perceptual or academic skills past the age of 12. Use of medications to reduce symptoms of ADD or ADHD within the previous 12 months.


Eczema or atopic dermatitis after the age of 8. Contact dermatitis or allergy to rubber. History of psoriasis. Current diseases of sebaceous glands to include severe acne, if extensive involvement of the neck, shoulders, chest or back is present or shall be aggravated by or interfere with the proper wearing of military equipment are disqualifying. Applicants under treatment with systemic retinoids, including, but not limited to isotretinoin (Accutane(r)), are disqualified until 8 weeks after completion.

Spine and other Musculoskeletal

Scoliosis, kyphosis, or lordosis likely to impair normal function. Herniated disc or history of operation for this condition. History of chronic or recurrent low back pain. Fusion of the spine.