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    Hi,

    Up until recently I had been set on becoming a neurologist/neurosurgeon, as I love the sciences and have a keen interest in living the life of a doctor. However, I've always been a fan of adrenaline, excitement etc., and often take part in extreme sports to get a "kick". For this reason, I think I would love the role of a Medical Officer in the RAF.

    Unfortunately, there are 2 glaringly obvious problems that I fear may hold me back:
    - 1) My eyesight. It's pretty shocking. Not to the point where I wear glasses 24/7, but tbh I probably should. Long distances are the issue, eg. I can barely read road signs while in a car without my glasses. I've been considering laser correction surgery for a while now, but finances are holding me back.

    - 2) I'm flat-footed (not really "collapsed arches", they were never there in the first place, but yeah.. :p:). Doesn't affect my everyday life, but I've heard it could make the RAF fitness tests insanely hard, if not impossible.

    It'd be annoying if these natural "quirks" held me back, because academically (and physically, in most other aspects) I honestly think I could achieve this exciting career...

    Any help would be much appreciated.

    EDIT: Obviously in the title I meant /the/ RAF. That's my dodgy typing skills, not the eyesight! :L
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    Eyesight - do a search on here, we put the eyesight standards up very regularly. I don't think Doctors have very tight limits.

    Flat feet - go to a podiatrist and get some arch supports made, it's a solvable problem. The issue isn't flat feet per se, it's fitness, which can be affected by many issues. If you can pass the fitness tests (don't ask - search) then you'll be fine.
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    Your eyesight sounds better than mine - I probably couldn't even see a road sign from the car, let alone read it - and mine was within limits.
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    (Original post by threeportdrift)
    Eyesight - do a search on here, we put the eyesight standards up very regularly. I don't think Doctors have very tight limits.

    Flat feet - go to a podiatrist and get some arch supports made, it's a solvable problem. The issue isn't flat feet per se, it's fitness, which can be affected by many issues. If you can pass the fitness tests (don't ask - search) then you'll be fine.
    Hey,

    Thanks for the reply. I searched for info regarding the eyesight issue, and am getting the general idea that for a medical officer position, it's fine for my vision to be less than perfect as long as I wear glasses that correct it to 6/6. However, some people have mentioned an upper border for "uncorrected vision", but I can't get any definitive answers as to what this upper border for a potential medical officer might be? Any further clarification would help enormously. Thanks.
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    (Original post by Theo1977)
    Your eyesight sounds better than mine - I probably couldn't even see a road sign from the car, let alone read it - and mine was within limits.

    :yep: That sounds promising. I take it you have to wear glasses/contacts for most things though, hence the restrictions in the first place? Also, was there no mention of an "uncorrected vision" limit (as I mentioned in my last post)?

    Sorry for the interrogation, there just seems to be A LOT of conflicting info..
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    I think (and may be wrong) that for medical officers the boundaries are less strict in most respects than those for other areas e.g. pilots.

    Edit: I think if you don't have to wear them 24/7 you'll be ok- I've seen medics wearing glasses. Can't be bothered to search for the exact rules for you, sorry, but ask in one of the RAF careers shoppy things, or wherever you intend to get all the paperwork from. In fact, the paperwork, brochures etc. will say.
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    (Original post by millyme)
    I think (and may be wrong) that for medical officers the boundaries are less strict in most respects than those for other areas e.g. pilots.

    Edit: I think if you don't have to wear them 24/7 you'll be ok- I've seen medics wearing glasses. Can't be bothered to search for the exact rules for you, sorry, but ask in one of the RAF careers shoppy things, or wherever you intend to get all the paperwork from. In fact, the paperwork, brochures etc. will say.
    Ok, thanks. As for paperwork, I haven't really looked into it yet, not even starting A Levels until September so it's quite a way away yet. I'll do some more research.
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    (Original post by houseelf)
    Hi,

    Up until recently I had been set on becoming a neurologist/neurosurgeon, as I love the sciences and have a keen interest in living the life of a doctor. However, I've always been a fan of adrenaline, excitement etc., and often take part in extreme sports to get a "kick". For this reason, I think I would love the role of a Medical Officer in the RAF.

    Unfortunately, there are 2 glaringly obvious problems that I fear may hold me back:
    - 1) My eyesight. It's pretty shocking. Not to the point where I wear glasses 24/7, but tbh I probably should. Long distances are the issue, eg. I can barely read road signs while in a car without my glasses. I've been considering laser correction surgery for a while now, but finances are holding me back.

    - 2) I'm flat-footed (not really "collapsed arches", they were never there in the first place, but yeah.. :p:). Doesn't affect my everyday life, but I've heard it could make the RAF fitness tests insanely hard, if not impossible.

    It'd be annoying if these natural "quirks" held me back, because academically (and physically, in most other aspects) I honestly think I could achieve this exciting career...

    Any help would be much appreciated.

    EDIT: Obviously in the title I meant /the/ RAF. That's my dodgy typing skills, not the eyesight! :L
    How does flat-feet make it harder? Could you explain please, I dont see how having flat-feet makes any difference to anything
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    (Original post by millyme)
    I think (and may be wrong) that for medical officers the boundaries are less strict in most respects than those for other areas e.g. pilots.

    Edit: I think if you don't have to wear them 24/7 you'll be ok- I've seen medics wearing glasses. Can't be bothered to search for the exact rules for you, sorry, but ask in one of the RAF careers shoppy things, or wherever you intend to get all the paperwork from. In fact, the paperwork, brochures etc. will say.
    Lol, may be wrong? Most things (IOT for example ) are less strict for MOs than other areas! Pilots definitely need to have better eyesight than Med Officers.

    (Original post by houseelf)
    Ok, thanks. As for paperwork, I haven't really looked into it yet, not even starting A Levels until September so it's quite a way away yet. I'll do some more research.
    Whilst this may be something of a cliched response: get the info from the horses mouth and call OASC. They will give you the most up-to-date and relevent information, and if need be can put you in touch with a specialist who will have the final say.

    OASC is at RAF Cranwell, if it helps you in finding the number.

    :top:
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    (Original post by FatFridge)
    How does flat-feet make it harder? Could you explain please, I dont see how having flat-feet makes any difference to anything
    The opinion of a friend more "in the know", nothing more. I can kinda see where he's coming from, it surely makes the 1.5 mile run and Bleep test a bit more tiring when you've got nothing to power you along... or something like that. Like I said, it's just an early concern, I'll start looking more in-depth in a year or so.
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    (Original post by djmarkmclachlan)
    Lol, may be wrong? Most things (IOT for example ) are less strict for MOs than other areas! Pilots definitely need to have better eyesight than Med Officers.



    Whilst this may be something of a cliched response: get the info from the horses mouth and call OASC. They will give you the most up-to-date and relevent information, and if need be can put you in touch with a specialist who will have the final say.

    OASC is at RAF Cranwell, if it helps you in finding the number.

    :top:
    Thanks, I'll give them a call sometime. It's sounding hopeful, now I just need some firm evidence to put my mind at rest.

    Thanks all.
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    (Original post by houseelf)
    The opinion of a friend more "in the know", nothing more. I can kinda see where he's coming from, it surely makes the 1.5 mile run and Bleep test a bit more tiring when you've got nothing to power you along... or something like that. Like I said, it's just an early concern, I'll start looking more in-depth in a year or so.
    I just dont get why the flat-feet thing makes things harder? Does it make your feet hurt or something ?
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    I cant remember where i read it but there was a study in i think i twas the Norweigan army which said that people with flat feet were actually better in fitness training for the military as they were statistically less likely to suffer from fractures, or something strange like that, i dont see it being an issue, just get your fitness up to spec and you should be fine. (Not 100% sure of the details but thats the jist of what i got, theres been that study and some special forces study from the US army, it might have been on here, i honestly cant remember)
    In the medical area of things im sure glasses would be allowed, could wear contacts when required.
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    (Original post by FatFridge)
    I just dont get why the flat-feet thing makes things harder? Does it make your feet hurt or something ?
    The arch on the instep of your foot is effectively a spring. If the arch collapses, ie you have flat feet, then the springing action is less effective and so your gait is affected. In particular when you put your foot down the impact is greater which can cause problems with angles, shins and knees . You foot can rotate in more (pronate) which in turn can cause problems with ankles, shins and knees. So for jobs where people are on their feet or running a lot, flat feet can lead to a whole range of lower leg (and higher) problems. However, as I said in an earlier post, it is usually a fixable condition if you see a podiatrist and get insoles fitted.
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    (Original post by threeportdrift)
    The arch on the instep of your foot is effectively a spring. If the arch collapses, ie you have flat feet, then the springing action is less effective and so your gait is affected. In particular when you put your foot down the impact is greater which can cause problems with angles, shins and knees . You foot can rotate in more (pronate) which in turn can cause problems with ankles, shins and knees. So for jobs where people are on their feet or running a lot, flat feet can lead to a whole range of lower leg (and higher) problems. However, as I said in an earlier post, it is usually a fixable condition if you see a podiatrist and get insoles fitted.
    Thanks for helping me explain, considering I've lived with this for 17 years it's surprisingly difficult to put into words. I've got some special insoles which I've worn for 2 years, but it's never "fixed" the problem, just helped make my walking more natural while they're in.

    Overall what I'm hearing bodes well for my chances, thanks to everyone who supplied info and I'll look more closely into it sometime in the future.

    /thread.
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    Hi

    I didn't see it mentioned on here but if you are considering a career in the RAF then you should not consider laser eye surgery as that will stop you getting in.

    Apply and see how you get on.
    Good luck
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    (Original post by lady_smudger)
    Hi

    I didn't see it mentioned on here but if you are considering a career in the RAF then you should not consider laser eye surgery as that will stop you getting in.

    Apply and see how you get on.
    Good luck
    How would it stop you getting in if it ment you ended up with perfect vision? :confused:
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    (Original post by houseelf)
    Hi,

    Up until recently I had been set on becoming a neurologist/neurosurgeon, as I love the sciences and have a keen interest in living the life of a doctor. However, I've always been a fan of adrenaline, excitement etc., and often take part in extreme sports to get a "kick". For this reason, I think I would love the role of a Medical Officer in the RAF.

    Unfortunately, there are 2 glaringly obvious problems that I fear may hold me back:
    - 1) My eyesight. It's pretty shocking. Not to the point where I wear glasses 24/7, but tbh I probably should. Long distances are the issue, eg. I can barely read road signs while in a car without my glasses. I've been considering laser correction surgery for a while now, but finances are holding me back.

    - 2) I'm flat-footed (not really "collapsed arches", they were never there in the first place, but yeah.. :p:). Doesn't affect my everyday life, but I've heard it could make the RAF fitness tests insanely hard, if not impossible.

    It'd be annoying if these natural "quirks" held me back, because academically (and physically, in most other aspects) I honestly think I could achieve this exciting career...

    Any help would be much appreciated.

    EDIT: Obviously in the title I meant /the/ RAF. That's my dodgy typing skills, not the eyesight! :L
    Joining as a Medical Officer isn't the same as joining as a Pilot - where you do need perfect vision - but you do need to have a certain level of fitness.

    I'm sure you'd be fine tbh
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    After my dad did his medical degree he went into the RAF (not sure if "medical officer" was his role but possibly) and he has terrible eyesight and was fine.
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    (Original post by adrenalinejunkie)
    How would it stop you getting in if it ment you ended up with perfect vision? :confused:

    The Forces argument is that not enough research has been done into the long term effects of the procedure and that if you've required surgery in the past then that shows your eyesight has already deteriorated, and so will continue to do so.

    The RAF doesn't need to take the risk, so they won't.


    It is, however, a contentious issue.
 
 
 
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