Students often get medical examinations of the merchant navy confused with that of the Indian Navy. A lack of information among aspiring cadets results in self-denial and low esteem at an early stage of preparation. That is why it is important for students to go through the eligibility conditions released on DG Shipping’s official website every year or consult a DG Shipping-approved doctor nearby. To know how to find a DG Shipping-approved doctor near your place of residence, read the blog – DG Shipping-approved doctor for seafarers. 

merchant navy
Medical in the Merchant Navy

We receive a lot of questions regarding problems like- Clavicle bone fracture,sweaty palms and many more from students preparing for merchant navy. These are common yet important questions that need to be addressed clearly. Let us have a look at the list of some injuries and know whether you will qualify the medicals or not if you possess any of these.

  1. FLAT FOOT – is a condition where one or both feet have little to no arch. When you stand, the pads of the feet press into the ground. This condition can be due to genes but can also develop later in life due to certain problems like cerebral palsy, diabetes, down syndrome, high blood pressure. 

If you are someone with flat foot condition who is going to sit for medicals in The Merchant Navy and faces no physical constraints while brisk walking, running or performing any cardio activities. Then you will be stated as medically fit by the health practitioner and can join as a seafarer eventually. 

flat foot medical merchant navy
Flat Foot
  1. KNOCK KNEES – is a condition in which the knees tilt inward while the ankles remain spaced apart. In the Merchant Navy, knock knees are allowed on one condition that it should not hamper the physical capabilities of the seafarer. Apart from genetics this condition is also caused due to obesity. As we know, obesity leads to a direct cancellation of candidature in the merchant navy. 
knock knees
Knock knees
  1. SWEATY PALMS – If you are someone who faces the issue of sweaty palms and wondering if this will pose a problem in the medicals of the merchant navy. Then you can relax and stop worrying as the merchant navy qualifies the issue of sweaty palms as eligible. You can join as a seafarer as long as your condition does not interrupt with the daily duties onboard. 
sweaty palms merchant navy
sweaty palms
  1. TATTOO – Yes, you can join the merchant navy even if you have tons of tattoos carved on your skin. But remember, there should be no allergic reactions or any other visible complication due to the tattoos. 
  1. ELBOW ANGLE – The normal carrying angle of the elbow is when your arms are held out at your sides and your palms are facing forward, your forearm and hands should normally be about 5 to 15 degrees away from your body. If you do not have the normal elbow angle, but can perform day to day tasks like lifting, carrying easily then you are eligible for the merchant navy.
elbow angle merchant navy
elbow angle
  1. SINUS – Suppose you have a stuffy nose that is not getting any better. In this case you are having Sinus which is usually caused by cold or allergies. In the Merchant Navy, sinus condition is not allowed. So, if you are suffering from it, get it medically treated by a healthcare professional soon. 
  1. CLAVICLE BONE FRACTURE – It refers to  breaking of the collarbone, one of the bones in the shoulder. If the fracture has been taken care of medically and will not arise to any discomfort while you are on ship, then such a condition is allowed in the merchant navy.
  1. LIGAMENT INJURY / ROD IN LEGS – Suppose a student meets with an unfortunate accident a week before his medical examination for the merchant navy. He suffered a few ligament injuries and had to get a rod placed in his right leg. Now the question arises, will he be able to join the merchant navy in his lifetime? 

In this case, the student will not be eligible for the upcoming medical test as ligament injuries take 6-9 months to heal properly. Once his injuries are healed and he is able to perform daily activities with an ease, he can then attempt for the medicals at that time. At the time of health check up, if the student has a rod in one of his legs but still can perform the activities like running, walking swiftly, he/she is eligible for the merchant navy.

ligament injury merchant navy
ligament injury
  1.  BENT FINGER – This is an example of hand deformity. If there are no present problems related to the grip and lifting, then the candidate is eligible for the merchant navy.
bent finger merchant navy
bent finger
  1.  APPENDICITIS SURGERY – This is performed to remove the appendix from the body. If there are no post-surgery complications, then the candidate is allowed to have this surgery and sit for medicals in merchant navy.
appendicitis surgery merchant navy
appendicitis surgery

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Prasad Shedge

Bowed legs are allowed or not pls tell . I am worried about it .


Hello chief
If some one is hiv positive so he/she can join the ship

Aman Manwal

Hi Rohit, if someone is HIV Positive then he/she can’t join the Merchant Navy as there will be a risk of infections to other persons also.


Hi sir I am hcv positive. But I have taken a medicine. My hcv is cured . But the antibodies are there in my body .so I can joinn merchant Navy .

Aman Manwal

Hi Banshaj, I can’t say anything about this as it lies outside my forte but I would suggest you to go for expert counselling from our website so that we can understand the problem better and then we will ask the DG Shipping Approved doctor about your case.


I have nose surgery can I join

Aman Manwal

Hi, Srinu, you need to be more specific about your nose surgery, you can call us at 7417349336 to know more about your condition.


Hi sir, I have Deviated Nasal Septum. So can I join merchant vay with that or do I need to have a surgery?

Aman Manwal

Hi Gauri, I suggest you to consult with DG Shipping doctor as he can prescribe the next best possible step to take for your deviated nasal septum.


Hello sir, I have some food allergies and allergy to some dust mites so can I join merchant Navy with that?

Aman Manwal

Hi Gauri, if this food allergy doesn’t create any problem then I cannot see any reason not to join merchant navy, however I suggest that you should consult with a DG Approved doctor before taking any decision for your allergy as well as for deviated nasal septum.

Om Thakur

Hello if someone’s elbow is dislocated and he can do all thing with that hand can he join merchant navy

Aman Manwal

Hey Om, if you are able to lift heavy objects then I don’t think there would be any issue with joining the merchant navy. However it is advised to consult with the DG Shipping certified doctor before going for any course.


what about deviated nasal septum , nasal polyps , cleft lip and palate . None of them cause problem in breathing and in speech.

Aman Manwal

If you do not face any difficulty in breathing then I don’t think there would be any problem. However, you should consider an advice of DG shipping doctor before going further with your decision. You can also check out Medical Series by DG Doctor, Dr. Sooraj Rana to get more information.