Of Med Clearance and Vaccines

Two posts in a month? What is this madness?

Six doctor’s visits, eight vials of blood, a new pair of glasses, full dental ex-rays and over 130 pages of paper later…and my medical paperwork is finally in.

A month late.


Having a nurse for a mother is helpful for understanding medical things, but knowledge dissuades fear. Since I wasn’t scared of it, I thought it would be easier and quicker than it was. Oops.

I headed into my PCP appointment thinking that I would be walking out of that appointment with my paperwork completed. I was wrong. Very, very wrong. Even though I told my doctor the appointment was for Peace Corps medical clearance and a physical….she was still completely blindsided. (She clearly had never completed a Peace Corps medical clearance packet before.) I was blindsided because I thought I had an appointment with a doctor I knew…so it was uncomfortable all around.

As a nice contrast, getting my Yellow Fever vaccine was WONDERFUL. The woman who gave it had helped many people going into the Peace Corps before. Even better, the general fee ($135) was waived. If you’re in the Philadelphia/Main Line – ish Area looking for travel vaccines – I highly recommend the U Penn travel clinic. Parking was tough, but everything else was great.


If you’re working on your medical clearance for Peace Corps and somehow found my blog – things I wish I knew:

  1. You need your passport to get your Yellow Fever Vaccine. A photo copy of it works.
  2. Book your doctor’s appointment in advance. Wayyyy in advance. At least a month before everything is due.          -_-
  3. If your health insurance covers lab tests, you’re set. Don’t even worry about trying to find your childhood vaccine records. Just get the blood tests.
  4. It is worth it to call around asking dentist’s offices whether they give people discounts if they’re headed into the Peace Corps. But again, book appointments early.
  5. The amount of paperwork is OVERWHELMING, and fairly redundant. Take a breath, a few hours, and pour a glass of wine. Then try and figure everything out.
  6. PDFsam Basic – a free .pdf editing software. Super helpful for pulling together all the scans into one document to submit everything.



2 thoughts on “Of Med Clearance and Vaccines

  1. Wow! What a process!! Getting exciting and you are so brave to go off to a foreign land for two years!! Good for you, Mari. I know you will do well!! xx00Sara

    Liked by 1 person

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