The past few months since passing the Orals have been a bit of an exciting and yet stressful blur. I had that lovely interlude where I traveled to Doha, but after that have been right back in getting all the tasks accomplished so that I can end up on the Public Diplomacy register soon.
Today I got the best news in a while: I have been officially medically cleared!! I now have a Class 1 medical clearance, which basically means I am “worldwide available” in line with the Foreign Service condition of being able to serve in any consulate or embassy in even the least developed circumstances. I’m super relieved that the medical process is over. Now it’s down to waiting for a Top Secret security clearance and Final Suitability Review..
Since passing the Oral Assessment, I dove right into starting the somewhat arduous process of gaining a medical clearance, aka “worldwide availability”- proving to the office of medical services that I am, in fact, healthy enough to be placed anywhere in the world representing the US. I’m one of the healthiest people I know, so I should be fine, right?
Maybe! I’m currently in the middle of getting a varied assortment of tests to prove just how healthy I am. It’s further complicated by the fact that I haven’t been to an actual doctor in ages so have to start completely from scratch with one in Houston. So far, it can be complicated to just explain to my doctor how filling out the forms for State works. I wish I had the option to have tests done at State’s medical office in DC, but it doesn’t seem smart to fly back to DC just for that. Some of the tests (like chest X rays, tb test, etc) are not really routine. There’s a lot of self-advocacy involved on the candidate’s part to get all the required tests and forms signed, which I suppose will come in handy for my future employment as a diplomat.
I have walked the (albeit nice) 15 minute walk over to Baylor in the Med Center from Rice numerous times in the past several weeks for more tests. The puzzling thing is that a few of my test results come back with odd findings, then disappear when I redo the tests. My plan is just to stick with it and keep pushing through until it’s done- as one of my friends put it, it’s just a few more hoops they make you jump through before it all (hopefully) works out in the end! Here’s hoping that in a few weeks, I’ll be able to submit all the paperwork and get a worldwide medical clearance!