Student Research: Alden Weg

, Occupational Medicine (Occ Med), 2004
Faculty Advisor: William E. Daniell

The Impact of Army Branch Assignment on Early Medical Disability in a Cohort of Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) Cadets


Abstract

Minimizing occupational disability rates is a major concern for employers. High disability rates result in substantial expense for employers through direct medical care expenditures, increased insurance premiums, and loss of workplace productivity. Each year the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics publishes data regarding occupational injury resulting in lost workdays, disability, and deaths by industry, age, sex, and race. It has been demonstrated that certain civilian occupations have high rates of disability. The construction, agriculture, forestry, fishing, and manufacturing industries have consistently been identified as high risk occupations in the annual Bureau of Labor Statistics reports. The Army is also extremely interested in disability rates in its soldiers and officers. Many thousands of dollars are spent for training and education with the anticipation that these individuals will complete a minimum service obligation. Minimizing early medical discharges from service (prior to completion of the initial service obligation) reduces the need to recruit and train new personnel, decreases medical expenditure and disability payments, and maintains unit personnel strength. According to Department of Defense actuarial reports, $425 million dollars were paid in disability payments in fiscal year 2003. This pales in comparison to the $21.6 billion in disability paid by the Veteran's Administration.

Taken from the beginning of thesis.