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Beware the Peace Corps Medical Office: Tweedle Dee and Tweedle DumAnonymous7-24-07  1:23 pm
To disclose a previous mental health issue or not ?shrinkme22-28-07  2:16 am
Question about joiningshaff1-02-07  10:16 am
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Anonymous (
Posted on Monday, February 27, 2006 - 10:37 pm:   

Just some really stupid questions, but I'm absolutely dying to apply for Peace Corps, and some things are concerning me:

1) How is drug testing? If you have experimented with drugs, should you even bother applying, even if it was two years ago?
2) Bi-polar that a no? It's medicated, and fine, but christ, bipolar does not have the best reputation around, even medicated and under control. Will this hurt my chances?
3) Stupid question, but if you are accepted, they do provide transportation, correct? And what happens when you land overseas where you've never been...does someone meet you?
Anonymous ( -
Posted on Tuesday, February 28, 2006 - 10:39 am:   

Recalling the way it was years ago...
1. It was a current affair. Using drugs
"now" is the quickest way to be separated.
2. Suprising how many get over their bi polar
and other when they get into training and
across the ocean but it should not be taken
lightly. There is data to be filled in on the
3.Yes, Peace Corp supplies transportation. You
are met at the host country airport by the Peace
Corps Country Director.
Posted on Tuesday, February 28, 2006 - 9:52 pm:   

1. If you're not doing it now, it's not present in your system and you won't do drugs in the future, shouldn't be a factor ... However, illegal (by US law) drug use will get you kicked out ...

2. Bi-polar needs to be reported, including what meds are being used to manage it ... That said, your medical clearance will depend on how it can be managed overseas in developing countries .. Your medical file is confidential, with only the medical office knowing (and the CD if necessary due to an incident). I've known of several PCVs managing such medical issues ...

3. Yes, although once in-country you will be trained in how to get around the country and expected to learn to do so relatively independently ...
Non Confidential ( -
Posted on Thursday, March 02, 2006 - 8:56 pm:   

Your medical file is the farthest thing from confidential and its political. Its where Peace Corps perpetruates the biggest violations of individual rights. Most medical staff write gossip or there own slanted version on their opinions.

Most healthy volunteers enter Peace Corps with no history of any issues related to mental health. But, alot of security issues in Peace Corps have been covered up through medical service. They cover them up in country through medical services, saying this person is not adjusting etc........... due their problem. Usually, these PCV's are in very difficult areas both physically, politically in the given country and in a given village.

Its how Peace Corps passes the buck of US foreign policy on the volunteer.

Say you were in a country and had your life threatened by outsider to the country who did not like what Peace Corps represents. Or threatened physically with rape or violence. The Peace Corps has a reputation for blaming the volunteer for the situation. Most of the time its poor placement, management at headquarters of given country in terms of support such as housing safety and alike. Or for that matter when an incident occurs like a rape, they blame the volunteer, "oh she was looking for it" or "she was going native anyway". Or physical violence with "you are hallucinating" Or that isn't happening etc.. it goes on and on.

Remember, you represent yourself and the staffers are only there with primarily negative influence. I don't remember many APCD's who came through with support of financing projects,making sure your living in a safe environment or came through with anything but report negative stuff back to headquarters.

This is why we have had problems with safety and security.

I would say at least 60% of medical issues are not handled correctly by Peace Corps staff. They will never say they have made mistakes. Never.

The worst part is there is no oversight of their inexperience. When serious issues relating to safety and health they duck or cast blame. Just ask the thousands they have done wrong with FECA, wrongfully diagnosing cases and misunderstanding etc.. Moreover, the folks who have survived a safety incident and been categorized wrongfully with a medical condition have to live the Peace Corps mistakes of their experience, while others get promotions because of an easy assignment. Why do you think that some who have died didn't want to report anything? Because of the fear of reprisal. Volunteers know Peace Corps does this through medical services, so they stay in unhealthy situations, meanwhile its more dnagerous than hell.

The people in headquarters never know what you have seen or been a witness or gone through. Remember that. Don't let them interpret your experience so that you are fired as a volunteer.

They could a hoot about you. Reporting everything to the medical nurse or staff is not advisable from my experience. Do what you have to ,but, don't tell them much, they will use it against you as they have done over and over again without oversight from anybody.

Confidentiality is a joke in medical files at Peace Corps. For instance, why would the country Director have to know? They are not medical staff. That is political. To suppress reports of safety and health is for their survival and damage control, so watch out.
CarmenBailey ( -
Posted on Friday, March 03, 2006 - 12:55 pm:   

Yeah! It's exactly what was done to me too. Nice
person that I was, I took years to make sure the slander wasn't just a mistake and that I was
sure in my thinking. But not a soul has said,
"Oh sorry about slandering you. Will you resend the proof of the horrible experience we foisted, that it may be entered correctly in your record, please?"

But wait, it gets worse! I am emailing a letter
to PCOL which my lawyer sent for me, that you may see that USMail stops efforts to get attention to
the above problem. I don't know if it will get there but I am sending it. Under the name of Hummel. More letters/documents are at the end of chpatersx of my story ThEBiGtReK. com, garbled because the accurate spelling is deleted by "Them."

In addition to having to pay all of my extensive medical bills, I cannot make money on the side to help out nor can I take write offs while I'm being slandered. A curious person once asked me if I would join Peace Corps again. Well, I'm still in it... on the Third Goal.
the OP (
Posted on Saturday, March 04, 2006 - 12:45 am:   

So, do I just keep quiet re: the mental health?

I'd rather go than not, obviously. (I'm the OP of this post)
Anonymous ( -
Posted on Saturday, March 04, 2006 - 11:01 am:   

As I recall from years ago, there is loose data
to be filled in on the application form
concerning mental health. All questions should be answered [on any serious application]. If
requested, you will need a statement from a shrink that you are healthy now.
Anonymous ( -
Posted on Saturday, March 04, 2006 - 12:59 pm:   

Addition to my previous response...
I said it wrong, sorry sorry!

I should have said you may be requested
to get a statement from YOUR shrink if you
went to one.
non confidential ( -
Posted on Saturday, March 04, 2006 - 11:19 pm:   

To Carmen Bailey,

I feel for you my friend. I hope things are well with you. I appreciate your spirit regarding your situation with Peace Corps. Its too bad Peace Corps as an institution can't see the care and the fight in you. Remember you served and Gaddi Vasquez and others did not. Know this in your heart.

The resources Peace Corps puts into recruitment should be put into you because you have not lost your spirit, you are still with us, the third goal. Thanks

To OP,

I don't know what to say. Its your choice. You can tell them and be questioned every step of the way, sometimes it could be daily, providing more mental health papers. Be ready for bureaucracy. If you choose to expose your self to this scrunity, be ready emotionally and as much as you can when you serve stay away from Medical services. Their care for you is based on you and them being paid by the taxpayer of the United States. Its about money too. Its the government remember. Be self reliant as much as you possibly can and ansewer their probing questions carefully. If I were to do service again, I would tape every conversation with the inexperience medical nurses and overly opinionated PCMO and staff.

These people are not mental health speicialists and many of their opinions are based on old methods of mental health from my experience.

Remember this, anything you say can be placed in your file. Out of context information too, so have a witness with you during your visits as much as you can so that you can prove accuracy in your record. It may not be your expereince but it is for very many.

Others who have posted here have been staff, they think like staff. They want to see the shrink's report, if you choose to give it, don't let them dwell upon stuff in the past or from what your shrink says, its you who is living in this world and is the possible volunteer. Get the meds if you have to, but like I said stay away from them as much as possible and use other methods of helping your self with counseling you may need through self help reading and nutrition. It works if you discipline yourself, I believe. This is only my opinion.

on number 3 yes, people do meet you and for the first couple months you are like in a class room steeting and learning cultural morays. Transportation is provided during this period.

Transportation once at site can be a bike, a motorcycle, taxi, bus, etc... You most likely won't have a car.
CarmenBailey ( -
Posted on Sunday, March 05, 2006 - 12:37 pm:   

To Non Confidential;

You're Welcome! Very Welcome! It seems that I
have spent a life sorting through warmongering
principles to get to the base of them ... which happens to be in Peace Corps. No need to look further since hate is so rife in Peace Corps administration. I'm thankful to have a place to help expose this deception, thanks to Hugh Pickens [PCOL].

Each Volunteer has a level to fulfill. The new
Volunteer carries on the Spirit of what Peace
Corps is about. We older RVolunteers have the
experience to identify inadequacies.

I am startled by Lee Badger's article - March 4 -about the need to formulate a 20 year plan
to reclaim America's image. It is refreshing,
forthright, obvious when brought to our attention. Are plans in progress?
Anonymous ( -
Posted on Tuesday, January 02, 2007 - 10:14 am:   

pot smokers

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