June 19, 2011 Leave a comment
I wrote the other day about being nominated by my Peace Corps recruiter. That was the first real milestone towards accomplishing my goal of joining the Peace Corps. Now I’ve got to clear the next hurdle; the medical review.
It’s not that I’m concerned that I’m not healthy enough to handle the assignment. I know I am. The challenge in this phase of the application process is the mountain of paperwork and appointments I have to deal with. And maybe worst of all, a lot of the cost will be out of my pocket. Ouch! The Peace Corps will reimburse some of the expense, but I’m not sure it’s going to cover all the tests.
What is a medical review all about?
When I filled out my application, I had to complete a medical questionnaire. Any question with an answer other than“No“ must now be reviewed by a doctor. That means because I had problems with acne, I have to get it checked over. That bladder infection four years ago, it’s got to be followed-up on. In all, there are four things in my medical history that’ll have to be reviewed. I’ll also have to get a physical, even though I just had one done a couple months ago. Really, not a big deal.
Then there’s my vaccination history. This is where I’m a little concerned. When I was younger, I moved around quite a bit. I’m not sure how I’ll find this information, and even if I can, I doubt I’m current on my vaccines. I haven’t had any sort of shot in about a decade…at least. I’m fairly certain I’ll be walking out of this appointment feeling like a pin cushion. I’m not really looking forward to it.
Next is a psychiatric review. After I found out my girlfriend of three years was cheating on me (yet again), we broke up and I sought counseling to help deal with my emotions. Because of this treatment (which amounted to about three visits to talk with a therapist) I need to have a psychiatric evaluation and write a “personal statement” for the Peace Corps. I’m not really sure what I’m going to write. “I loved a girl, she broke my heart. I needed someone to talk to. I was confused.”
Also, apparently somewhere in the questionnaire they asked about my history of smoking cigarettes. I’d smoked a few cigarettes when I was about nine years old, and I must have answered some question to the affirmative because there is a statement from the Peace Corps about the health problems associated with smoking. I had to laugh because I haven’t touched a cigarette in…well, I can’t even remember. Maybe since I was nine!
I have to see a dentist and have x-rays taken (which have to be submitted to the Peace Corps). I haven’t been to a dentist in a couple of years, so this is something I really ought to do anyway. And finally, I need to have an eye exam. It’s been about a year or so since my last one, so it’s about time for another.
A doctor, a dentist, a shrink, an optometrist…lions and tigers and bears, oh my!
All of this has to be done as soon as possible, since the review process that happens after I submit my medical information could take up to six months. I hope it won’t take that long, I have a life to plan in case I’m not accepted into the Peace Corps! You’ll know more when I do! Stay tuned for more updates!