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Peace Corps Online » Discussion » Open Discussion » Questions, some general, some health-related and can I go? » Beware the Peace Corps Medical Office: Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum « Previous Next »

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Anonymous ( -
Posted on Tuesday, July 24, 2007 - 1:23 pm:   

I have to agree with some parts of this discussion. I, stupidly enough, told the medical office, a month and a half before I was to leave for my departure date, about a medication I had taken for skin problem.I had just finished the medication as was told by a general RN that I had plenty of time to inform my medical officer.So, right when I finished the medication, I left a message for a specific medical officer, as well as another medical officer,(since they never answer their phones),a month and a half before I was to leave. Now mind you, total, I left around 15 messages, all within business hours, informing the Peace Corps medical office, in detail of my name, my SSN, the medication I was taking, two phone numbers where I could be reached, my departure date, as well as, in the final calls, my email address. I have no idea how the Peace Corps medical office operates. I figured because I am a completely healthy young individual, and my doctor can attest to that fact, that the medical staff had already logged in the information concerning my medication, and I was just being an annoying nusuance, leaving so many messages.I mean, I could have never had told Peace Corps about the medication I had taken in the past, but I was trying to be honest. But why didn't the medical office call me back, just to let me know they had received the dozen or so messages I left? After all,(naive as I was), I was just tyring to be honest,and inform them that I had taken a medication, but I am completely fine. In all, I left 10 messages on the answering machine of a particular medical officer, as well as several other messages on another medical officer's phone in the course of 5 weeks. Finally, a week and a half before I am to leave, I get an email telling me they (the medical office) did not receive a fax from my doctor. O.K.? I was never told, via email, phone, or through my Peace Corps account that I needed to send a fax. In fact, up until four days before I was to leave, I had no medical hold on my Peace Corps account. So I get a note from my doctor, who thought the whole thing was totally ridiculous. Then,the day before I am suppose to leave, I get a call from the man who I had left all those messages for. He informs me that he has pulled me from my staging class because he did not "have enough information". I then, blubbering all the while, explained that I had already quit my job-had no medical coverage because of it-packed my life away-gave up my apartment-told all my friends that I am leaving- and have no immediate place to stay. After all, I was supposed to be leaving tomorrow!!!! I was then told, in the smuggest of terms, that I need to "look past this", and call my placement officer to see if, in a matter of- what, weeks, months, I could be placed somewhere else. I did not even receive an aplolgy. Never mind the fact that I was homeless as of tomorrow, and that I have spent hundreds of dollars on clothes,tailored specifically for a certain region, as well as technical equipment, and had already emotionally and financially prepeared myself for departure. I really was, and am, at a loss for what happened. I have gone back to my doctor to have him fill out the necessary paperwork, and he can't believe what happened. All my blood tests were attached, proving my health. The only worry was that the medication I had taken would affect my liver functions. According to the blood tests, the medication never had- and thus why was I not allowed to go to the staging event? Beacuse the medical officers had not bothered to call my doctor who would have happliy volunteered this information, I was not allowed to fufill my dream. To top it off, I had been almost two months(shy of one week) since I was taken off the meds. Looking back, I think what I was most upset about was the fact that the medical office had waited until the day before I was to leave. O.K. fine, you feel as if you need more info,but wait until I am suppose to leave, the very day before, to tell me that you need more information? Why didn't you( you know who you are) return my calls or email me, to tell me that, maybe, I don't know,you need more info? Maybe you could have done this a month before I was suppose to leave? Maybe then I would not have quit my job and told my landlord I was moving out. Idiots!The medical officers never admitted that any wrong had occurred. Therefore, my advice to anyone applying for Peace Corps is to take the initiative not to assume that those in the medical office are professionally competent. I did, and look where it got me!

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