What do they ask in a Pre employment Medical?

Worried about a pre-employment medical – here’s what they usually ask.

Many employers request a pre employment medical. For many people this causes concern as they are unsure what is asked and therefore whether or not they will pass. An individual can have a pre employment medical conducted themselves by an Occupational Health Physician who can confirm if they are likely to pass or not and any areas which may require attention. These can be costly enough. Employers usually pay approximately 90 Euro. Individuals may have to pay slightly more. It is always worth shopping around. Let the Physician know that type of organisations you are applying to as they will more than likely be familiar with the questions asked in a wide range of industries.


The amount of physical contact the Physician makes with you is very minimal. It is primarily just question based and non invasive. Make sure to be honest throughout as existing ailments discovered during the course of employment that were not divulged in the pre employment medical could lead to dismissal depending on the circumstances involved.


The employer does not receive a completed form. They do not know the answers to your questions. They simply receive a confirmation of whether or not you passed and are fit for work. In addition, if there are any conditions that the employer needs to be aware of for the employees protection, such as a hearing impairment, this will also be confirmed. The Physician will let you know this in advance of the letter being sent to the employer.


Below is a general medical examination form that would commonly be used. There are variations to this depending on the industry and levels of physical activity required for the role.






1. General

  1. Is the employee personally known to you?
  2. Have you ever attended him/her?

If so, for what ailments and when?

2. Physical Appearance

  1. Is there anything unusual in personal appearance?
  2. Is there any evidence of excessive use of alcohol or any drug?
  3. Is there anything to suggest that the applicant is at risk of infection by the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (e.g. due to intravenousdrug use or homosexual practices, recipient of blood products or transfusion abroad etc.) ?
  4. Is there any physical defect or any scar of operation?
  5.  Is there any evidence of disease of the spine or joints likely to cause prolonged absence from work?
  6. What is the condition of the skin?
  7. Are there any skin lesions or moles on the legs, arms, back, abdomen or neck that warrant further investigation? If so, please describe location, shape, size, colour, features etc.

3. Measurements (all to be taken by examiner)

Chest (full inspiration)      ins   cms

Height (in shoes)                     Weight                             Chest (full expiration)

If heels exceed 1”          (in underclothes)                Abdomen at umbilicus

Please comment

Has there been any recent variation in weight?

If yes please state whether an increase or decrease and try to ascertain the cause.

4. Cardiovascular System

  1. Is there any evidence of heart enlargement? If so, please state position of apex beat.
  2. Is there any abnormality of heart sounds or rhythm?

If so, please state exact nature of abnormality and does it vary with respiration.

Is there a murmur present? If so, describe its point of maximum intensity timing, quality, loudness and character, conduction and effect of exercise and respiration.

Grade:     /6

Description of Murmur:

  1. What is the pulse rate? / per minute
  2. Is the character of the pulse abnormal? If so, state nature.
  3. Are the radical, femoral, posterior tibial and dorsalis pedis arteries abnormal?
  4.  Are the leg veins enlarged or varicose?

If so, state position, severity and if there is any oedema or ulceration.

  1. h)   Blood pressure (sitting or lying), stating which – at 5th phase

after     after         after

(Where the systolic pressure exceeds 145mns or the diastolic pressure exceeds 90mns, please take three further readings at 5 minute intervals and report all readings).

1st     5mins   10mins   15mins



5. Respiratory System

Is there any abnormality in the respiratory movements and sounds?

If so, clearly state extent and nature of abnormalities.

6. Digestive System

Is there any abnormality of the teeth, gums, tongue or throat?

Is there any enlargement of spleen or liver or abnormality of any abdominal organ?

Is there a hernia present? If so, please state whether it is likely to require surgical repair.

7. Nervous System and Organs of Special Sense

Is there any reason to suspect the existence of or a tendency to any disease of the brain or nervous system?                                                 Is there any abnormality of the pupil reflexes, knee-jerks or plantar responses?

Is there any sign of disease of the eyes or ears, including deafness?

8. Thyroid Gland and Lymphatic System

Is there any abnormality of the thyroid gland and lymphatic system?

Is there any lymph node enlargement in the cervical, axillary or inguinal regions?  If yes, is there any likely cause evident?

9. Urinalysis

The urine should be passed at the time of examination

Is there any trace of albumin, sugar, pus or other abnormal constituents?

(If albuminuria is discovered, the employee should be asked to call again in a few days and to bring two specimens of urine one passed at night on retiring and the other passed on rising in the morning. The result of each test should be recorded.)

Nature of Abnormality:                      Follow Up Details:

10. Males Only

Is there any abnormality of the scrotal contents? If so, describe / define:

For those over 50, is there any abnormality of the prostate? If so, describe / define:

11. Females Only

Is the applicant now pregnant?

If so, mention any complications of pregnancy or difficulties of labour in the past.

For employees above and over 40 or where there is a family history of breast cancer:

Are there any abnormalities of the breasts?

If so, describe / define:

The medical examiner is asked to include here any additional information as to the family history or the health of the employee that he/she may think necessary, specifically with regard to any exceptional features in this report. (Please also pay particular attention to any factors likely to affect eligibility for disability insurance)

Signature of Medical Examiner:

Qualifications:                                                                 Date:


Written by Gillian Knight, MD of Kala Management Solutions www.kala.ie. For employers, please call 01 619 02 82 for further advice on this area. 

For job seekers, we focus on helping people write a great CV and perform their best in interviews. If you would like to book a coaching session or help with your CV or cover letter mail info@kala.ie or go to www.kala.ie/cvwriting for more details. 

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