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What to Expect During the Police Officer Medical Evaluation

October 4, 2012

Becoming a police officer requires a medical evaluation, as police duties are physically challenging. The medical evaluation is performed in order to ensure the police department that you are healthy and fit enough to perform the duties that will be required of you. The medical evaluation is similar to having a physical done for an athletic program, but it is a little more detailed.

Medical Background

The physician will more than likely start the medical exam by asking you about your medical background. The physician will want to know all health problems that you have had in the past and all the health problems of your family members. It is important that you do not knowingly omit information, as this could come up during your background check and could be held against you.



The physician will then take your vitals: weight, height, temperature, and blood pressure. This information is used to determine if you height, weight and body-fat mass is within the standards that the police department requires. You must meet these requirements in order to be eligible and continue with the hiring process.


Vision Test

The vision test done by the physician is similar to the one that you have when you go to your regular eye doctor. The physician will be checking for color blindness, eye diseases and peripheral vision. A police officer’s vision is imperative, as they will need good sight in order to read license plate numbers, read street signs, inspect weapons, identify suspects and notice evidence.


Hearing Test

During the hearing test, the physician is looking for signs of an ear infection, ear deformities and ear injuries. The physician will also give you a test using an audiometer to verify that you can hear different series of tones. Hearing loss that is identified does not necessarily mean that you will be disqualified, but it is important that police officers are able to hear communications, sirens, gunshots and uncommon noises.


Blood and Urine Test

Blood and urine test are a requirement by most all police departments. These tests will help the physician identify a lot about your health conditions: anemia, diabetes, cancer, HIV/AIDS, hepatitis, drug use, high blood pressure and kidney dysfunctions. The physician will retrieve a blood sample usually using your arm and you will be required to provide a urine sample while you are receiving your medical evaluation.


Muscular and Skeletal Test

The physician will also check your range of motion to verify that you will be able to perform police officer duties. During this test, the physician will be checking to make sure that you have full use of your feet, legs, arms and hands. The physician will also check your spine, back, neck and skull to evaluate your reflexes and look for signs of deformity.


Other Conditions

During the medical evaluation the physician will also look for other medical conditions that may or may not disqualify you as a candidate, such as: hernias, gastrointestinal disorders, genitourinary disorders and glandular disorders

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