I'm in a bit of a rut as I just came back from the medical assessment for my job and due to my depression, the medical officer did not sign my medical form which I was told was needed to complete the hiring process. She asked for more information and mentioned she would make the decision then.

I'm extremely upset and mostly angry that I disclosed my mental health honestly and I don't know if I should tell my employer before going on with the medical officers wishes or if I should keep my mouth shut. I am also considering making an appointment with another doctor to see if I can override this medical exam and just not disclose my mental history there. I'm baffled that my depression has caused this problem as the job I am supposed to do is close to my counselling services and I still have the opportunity to leave and come home as needed from the job.

Overall, I'm confused as to what to do. My employer did send me an email saying that she got my security clearance and would hopefully get my official offer letter to me soon. She made no mention of the medical exam. I'm worried I won't get this job, which would be terrible as this is something I've wanted to do for a very long time and was excited to work in this area of research. I finally made a break in the industry and now I am afraid of being turned down despite being a good worker and learner.

Any advice or comments are much appreciated. Thank you.


Sorry everyone for the delay in addressing your questions. I will be working in Canada for a federal scientific agency in one of their provincial branches.

For clarity, the medical officer is not affiliated with my employer or place of work, she is a doctor hired to do these medical checkups on all potential government employees. She mentioned that she couldn't sign off on the "field work" aspect of my form, and because she is not familiar with what I'll be doing, she is taking precaution for if I go to a remote location with no proper health services available for me. She also mentioned that if it was a software job (which most of it is), where I work at a desk and am able to leave or go home at the end of the day, then I was fine. I did mention to her that despite my mental health, I'm still able to complete schoolwork, and I'm not on academic probation or failing classes to give her an idea of how it affects my daily life. She requested more information from my counselor and doctor about my current state. I'll be emailing my counselor today.

My employer keeps mentioning that she hopes to have the official offer letter coming in within the next few weeks... In the initial offer email, she did not mention the condition of the medical exam, only the security clearance, which I have now passed.

Further updates:

Thanks again to all that have replied, it has meant an immense amount to me. I was really worried about this opportunity slipping through my hands, because I truly felt it was a great time to really turn things around in my life - school is pretty meh right now, and I've never really gotten a chance to explore something like this, and I've always really wanted to. This week had been pretty wild with exams and final assessments for college and this really wasn't the cherry on top of the sundae I needed.

I emailed my counselor and we was willing to work with me to provide any positive info to the medical officer, and she was really kind in letting me talk through my own thoughts on my abilities for the work. I'm speaking with her over phone to work through writing out a letter for the medical officer detailing my counselor's thoughts and experiences with me and how she thinks I'll cope.

As well, my employer told me that most of my work will be software, however, near the end of the work term, I'll have the opportunity to do some field work for 1-2 weeks on the weekdays only. I think I'll present this info to the medical officer and see if she'd be willing to re-do the assessment before the field work time and see if she changes her mind (I'm still going for counseling in the summer, so hopefully that helps). From what my employer told me, I think I have a choice to do the field work, and they will accommodate me if I choose not to (although, I do want to experience that, but the point is, I don't think this medical assessment will prevent me from getting this job.

Thanks again for everyone's advice and for listening.

  • 8
    What industry and country?
    – Xavier J
    Apr 19, 2017 at 22:26
  • 4
    Also, security purposes for clearance. Is this governmental Top Secret level clearance or just company clearance levels? Apr 19, 2017 at 22:42
  • 3
    Here is the thing - if you have a health problem that makes you a bad fit for a certain job, it's better to stay away from that job. The doctor is just protecting you. Putting someone with depression on a high-stress position, for example, is to giving an increased risk of suicide to that person. The same goes for putting someone with heart problems on a job that needs a lot of aerobic exercise or that the person can be scared by sudden pressure situations, like a security guard position.
    – T. Sar
    Apr 20, 2017 at 13:06
  • 3
    I would argue there is little reason to say more than one absolutely has to to this medical officer, she is not your doctor, and is not working for you, she is providing a service to the employer. And is not your friend or agent, nor there to look out for you. But at this point there is little option than to carry on working with her to try and salvage the situation.
    – Vality
    Apr 20, 2017 at 19:07

2 Answers 2


Do not lie to your prospective employer, or anyone they are using to clear you for employment. If the security clearance you mentioned is a government-issued clearance, this is even more important. This only opens you up for termination at best and possibly even perjury charges if the lie is discovered. Additionally, you should not lie about your medical history to doctors examining you (for any reason). Stop entertaining that thought.

It sounds like you have counseling services, so it may be helpful for you to ask them for advice. It may help your case with the doctor to get a letter from them confirming that they believe you are fit for work. I'll give you my thoughts on what you've posted, but they know your personal situation and have probably helped other people in similar situations to yours, so their advice may prove valuable to you.

With that said, it doesn't sound like you are obliged to report this meeting to the employer yourself, so I would not think about doing that yet. You should confirm with the medical officer whether she plans on reporting the first meeting to the company or is going to wait until she's had more time to review your case. She may not be expecting to reject you and really does just want to make sure of some details before signing your form. If her assessment is going to be a rejection, figure out if she is going to report that to your company or not. She may also be able to answer whether or not it is OK for you to ask another doctor for a second opinion, or may be open to reading the results of a second opinion and reexamining her first judgement.

In general I think you should avoid telling the company your medical history and keep any discussion about the examination results strictly about the medical officer's failure to sign the form. My guess is that the company has guidelines against hiring managers asking for the details of medical examinations, and if they do press for details it may be a sign that this is not a good job for you.

However, something to keep in mind is that you should not discount the medical officer's professional opinion just because you disagree with it. It's possible the medical officer has experience with people with your condition taking the job and worsening their condition. You should be prepared to be told no a second time if you do get a second opinion, and perhaps at that point look into a different job. Even if you do get cleared for duty, don't compromise your health to work the job.


It depends on which country you're in as to the laws and guidelines you should be following but you don't have to generally because medical issues are confidential. However it does depend on the condition and the local laws etc.

If the medical condition starts to take a toll on your work and is putting you under strain and effecting you in a way you're not able to handle, you should tell your manager or boss and make sure they're aware of it so try can help you.

Like it mentioned already, if there are no local laws against it then it's your call as to whether you want to mention anything. If you think you can confidentially tell your manager and think they can support you, it'd potentially benefit you to do so and make things much easier for you.

  • 1
    On Brazil, you need to do a complete check up before taking a job and your employer is notified about any health issues you have before you start working. This is done to protect the employer from "I got this problem when I was working for company X" when in truth the employee already had it long ago. This type of fraud is somewhat rampant on my country, so I'm not surprised by this procedure at all.
    – T. Sar
    Apr 20, 2017 at 13:04
  • @TSar, You can still protect the employer from fraud if the doctor keeps that information confidential until the employee makes a claim. In the US, only your medical insurance knows everything about you. And even then, if an employer orders a medical check up, that employer is only allowed to ask specific job-related questions about your capabilities. Can he/she lift 50 lbs? Can he/she stay standing for long periods of time? Etc. May 19, 2017 at 6:54
  • @Stephan I understand, but the healthcare​system on Brazil is way different from most countries. You have a single file shared among every health agency, be it public or private, so everybody can signal up a fraud. I really mean it when I say fraud is rampant - and doctors actively take part on it. We had cases around here of amputations made without necessity, just so the person could retire earlier...
    – T. Sar
    May 19, 2017 at 10:20

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