Medical examinations are required by various employers and career fields in order to ensure that each of the applicants is able to perform the job in a safe manner. Depending on the kind of job, exams may consist of physical health checks, drug testing, psychological testing or even a combination of each. All medical exams are kept confidential and only shared if certain medical conditions that an applicant has may warrant emergency treatment one day. For certain fields of employment, these examinations are meant not only to determine if the potential new employee is healthy enough to perform the required tasks, but also to make sure that they are able to protect the public as well as their fellow co-workers.
Applicants seeking jobs in certain industries will be required to have physical examinations before being offered a position at their employer of choice. Firefighting, for example, is a very physically demanding job, so applicants must be in excellent health. A typical exam will include how well the applicant's heart and lungs function, her vision and hearing, as well as testing her strength. Firefighters are required to haul heavy equipment as well as wear heavy gear during calls to fires in addition to the different rescue skills they must be able to perform, so being in ultimate shape is necessary for this field.
Careers such as in law enforcement require various thorough psychological exams as well. These tests are especially important because the applicant will be expected to protect others, so it must be determined that the person does not have any underlying issues that could compromise the safety of himself, his partner or the public. He must be able to make sound decisions at a moment's notice and be able to handle stressful situations in a healthy way.
Many companies will include drug testing in their medical examinations. This will determine if the applicant has done any illegal drugs in recent weeks. Drug tests can be performed by taking a blood sample, urine sample or by taking a strand of hair and testing it. This test is vital in most fields, such as with commercial driving, because the driver must be able to drive for an extended amount of time without any issues with substance abuse.
Most employers who are looking for candidates to be of sound physical health will include hearing tests and vision testing. It is necessary to have normal hearing and vision, or at least have devices available such as hearing aids or glasses to correct any issues.