Medical Information for Applicants

The Peace Corps provides all necessary and appropriate health care for Volunteers during service.

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Medical clearance process overview

Once you have received an official invitation letter from the Peace Corps, you must undergo and clear a comprehensive medical and dental assessment before becoming a Peace Corps Volunteer. 

Our process is an individualized assessment based on your medical records, including immunizations, current medical conditions, and ongoing treatment.

Because of the nature of the countries where Peace Corps serves, the conditions under which Volunteers live and work, and the scope of medical care available in those countries, Peace Corps may not be able to support some medical conditions.

Watch video: Medical clearance process

About the Health History Form

Filling out the Health History Form accurately and completely will expedite the medical screening process. You will be asked to complete this form when you submit an application.

Medical information is confidential and will be sent to the Office of Medical Services. Failure to disclose complete information on your application can be grounds for disqualification or administrative separation from Peace Corps.    

Medical review step-by-step

Once you are invited, the Office of Medical Services will process your medical review as follows:

  1. We will assign medical and dental tasks that need to be completed for medical clearance. The tasks will appear in your secure medical portal at various times, requesting all exams and specialist evaluations, if applicable. Any assigned lab and health screening tests are mandatory.
  2. If your medical history appears complex, we may first ask you to complete specialist evaluations before asking you to complete the full medical exam.
  3. You will complete the required medical exams and documentation and submit that information in your medical portal. 
  4. We will review your submissions and contact you if we require additional information.
  5. We will either clear you for service, or determine that you cannot be medically cleared for service at this time and your invitation will be withdrawn. 

          Receipt of medical clearance is based on your medical and dental status at that time. 

          If, after your clearance, you become ill, undergo surgery, add to or change medications, undergo therapy or treatment, or develop any condition for which you seek medical assistance, please notify us immediately.

          Any significant change in your health may affect your medical clearance. 

          Failure to disclose such information may seriously affect your health overseas, as well as your status as a Peace Corps Invitee, Trainee, and Volunteer. For further information, you may call the Office of Medical Services at 1-855-855-1961, ext. 4047, from 10:00 am-4:00 pm Monday-Friday (Eastern Time).

          Medical conditions difficult to accommodate in Peace Corps

          Because Volunteers serve at the same socioeconomic level and in similar conditions as member of the community to which they are assigned, and because of the available health infrastructure in Peace Corps countries, the following conditions cannot typically be supported by the Peace Corps. Although your complete medical application will be individually assessed, the conditions below might lead to you not being cleared for service if you are not likely to complete 27 months of service without unreasonable disruption due to health problems.

          Condition Notes/Examples
          Addison's Disease
          Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
          Autoimmune disorders With frequent exacerbations or need of steroids or immunomodulators for symptom control; examples include lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory arthritis, mixed connective tissue disorder
          Benzodiazepine use Xanax, Valium, Ativan and others
          Bipolar I Disorder
          Blood thinner medications and anticoagulants Other than aspirin
          Cancer Recently treated (within past 5 years) or metastatic
          Cardiovascular conditions
          • Recurrent endocarditis
          • Symptomatic coronary artery disease
          • Symptomatic cardiac arrhythmias or those with high likelihood of recurrence
          • Symptomatic congestive heart failure
          • Symptomatic valvular disease
          • Inoperable aneurysm
          Chronic pain Requiring regular use of narcotics or ongoing chiropractic care or physical therapy
          Cystic Fibrosis
          Eating disorder
          Gastrointestinal conditions
          • Inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s Disease, ulcerative colitis)
          • Diverticulitis (recurrent)
          • Uncontrolled irritable bowel syndrome
          • Recurrent pancreatitis
          • Esophageal varices
          • Cirrhosis
          • Hepatitis
          Hematological disorders
          • Hemophilia
          • Idiopathic thrombocytopenia
          • Sickle cell disease with frequent vaso-occulusive crises
          • Recurrent blood clots
          Kidney diseases
          • Stage III-V chronic kidney disease
          • End stage renal disease
          • Nephrotic syndrome
          Kidney stones Recurrent
          Major Depression Recurrent, severe
          Multiple Sclerosis With unstable signs and symptoms
          Muscular Dystrophy
          Myasthenia Gravis
          Narcolepsy Poorly controlled
          Optic Neuritis, Uveitis, and/or Iritis that is Recurrent
          Osteoporosis History of or high risk for stress fracture
          Parkinson’s Disease
          Psychotropic medications Recent changes
          Pulmonary Disease
          • Emphysema, COPD
          • Interstitial lung disease, pulmonary fibrosis
          • Recurrent pneumothorax
          Recent mental health hospitalization
          Seizure disorder Poorly controlled
          Substance abuse or dependence
          Suicidal ideation or attempt
          Ventricular shunt For hydrocephalus
          Other complex conditions with multiple diagnoses Including solid transplant organ recipient requiring immunosuppression

          Medical reimbursement

          The Peace Corps provides some reimbursements toward certain medical expenses incurred during the medical clearance process:  

          Coverage Female Under 50 Female Over 50 Male Under 50 Male Over 50
          Medical Physical exam, lab work, any other requested tests $165 $290 $125 $175
          Medical reimbursement rates are based on required tests for age and gender.
          Dental Exam, X-rays (treatment not included) $60 $60 $60 $60
          Vision Exam $12 $12 $12 $12
          Peace Corps Volunteers   $0 $0 $0 $0
          Peace Corps Response Volunteers
          Peace Corps Response Volunteers will receive reimbursement instructions
          Yellow Fever Only if required for a Volunteer's country of service $150 $150 $150 $150
          Total   $387 $512 $347 $397

          Vaccinations required before service

          Before you depart the United States for Peace Corps, Invitees are required to have proof of immunity to, or vaccination against, the following diseases:

          • Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR)
          • Polio (childhood series)
          • Tetanus (current booster, not more than 7 years old)
          • Varicella (chicken pox)

          These are vaccines you should have had as a child, or have immunity to because you had the diseases. 

          If you do not have access to your childhood vaccination records, positive antibody titers for MMR, Polio and Varicella will show that you have immunity. 

          You may also be required to have a yellow fever vaccine (or have proof) before departing because it is required to enter the country of invitation or required for transit. Your yellow fever vaccination must be documented in the WHO International Certificate of Vaccination (yellow card).

          Vaccinations provided during service 

          The Peace Corps will provide all other required vaccines in your specific country of service that you have not already received. You do not need to receive any of these before you leave for service. If you do choose to receive them prior to entering service, you will not be reimbursed.

          Peace Corps Response Volunteers will be required to obtain additional vaccinations prior to service and will receive specific instructions during the medical clearance process.

          These may include:

          • Hepatitis A & B
          • Typhoid
          • Rabies
          • Japanese Encephalitis
          • Tick-Borne Encephalitis
          • Meningococcal 
          • Seasonal influenza (flu)

          For more information, contact [email protected] or 855.855.1961 ext. 4047.