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Peace Corps Medical Clearance Tips

Sep 17, 2018 | Uncategorized | 2 comments

You’ve stood out in the first round of applications, aced your interview, and now have received your invitation to serve. It’s time for medical clearance. Peace be with you.

In all seriousness, medical clearance can be the end of a potential Peace Corps journey. Peace Corps prioritizes volunteers’ safety and health above all things, so medical clearance is a highly important step to becoming a trainee and, ultimately, a volunteer. My experience with getting medical clearance took about 2 to 3 months, and I managed to receive medical clearance without much hassle relative to other volunteers. Here are a few tips I have for making this process as pain-free as possible.

1 // Start earlier than you ever imagined

The Peace Corps medical office might ask you to follow-up with your physician, dentist, gynecologist, or any other -ologist you saw for your paperwork. If you schedule your appointments for a couple days before your medical clearance paperwork deadline, that could be insanely stressful. I didn’t start my appointments immediately, but I would recommend scheduling those as soon as you can to avoid headache.

2 // Be 100% honest on your forms

Doing this will spare you having to resubmit forms or handle a medical issue later in your Peace Corps experience. For example, I have a dairy allergy, but the nurse practitioner filling in my forms put “lactose intolerance.” I had to go back and explain to my Peace Corps nurse about my allergy and submit extra forms as a result. To the best of your ability, try to get them right the first time!

3 // Try to upload forms ASAP

This sort of goes with number 1, but it’s equally important to take the time uploading your forms once you go to your appointments and get them back from medical professionals. Because of classes and work, I would sometimes take a week to 10 days in uploading my completed forms, which became stressful towards the deadline. Do yourself a favor and upload them within a couple days of receiving them from your doctor!

4 // Don’t let this take over your life

If the Peace Corps is something you’ve wanted for a long time, I know this process can be daunting. The thought of those dreams being taken away for medical reasons is not appealing, but this is not meant to become your life. There were times I let medical clearance take up more of my attention than needed. Remember that you’re probably about to move somewhere far (5,288 miles for me!) from home and family. Instead of stressing about things you can’t change, enjoy your time with them. You won’t regret it.

Don’t hesitate to reach out if you have questions I didn’t cover here! Best of luck as you navigate this process!

Edit: Click here to read more about my Peace Corps experience!

2 Comments

  1. Rachel Perry

    I am currently in the process of submitting my medical documentation to the PC. I take a medication called Latuda. I know it would disqualify me from service if they knew. My family just plans on mailing the meds to me and my doctor will refill my medicine with an over the phone appointment every 6 months during my service. Do u have any advice for me?

    Reply
    • Sarah

      I don’t know what the consequences with PC would be if they were to find out about the medication. I’m sorry that I can’t be of more help to you! I know this process is daunting and demanding. I was not on any medication when I entered PC, so I do not have personal experience with what you’re going through. I would ask in online forums like the Peace Corps subreddit to see if any RPCVs have experience with this. Best of luck!

      Reply

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Hi, I'm Sarah

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Welcome to my oasis! I am a writer and budding entrepreneur with a love for caffeine, capital gains, and seeing the world. If I'm not writing, you can find me reading a good book, trying out a new vegan recipe, or adding to my coffee mug collection. My goal in life? To see every country in the world. Come along for the ride!

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