Saturday, December 1, 2012

Mid-Service Crisis

With less than 10 months until my COS (close-of-service) date, I’m going through a bit of a crisis, namely…what on Earth am I going to do after the Peace Corps? This is a time when a lot of other PCVs from my stage are looking at jobs, taking the GRE, applying to grad schools, etc…
Before coming in to the Peace Corps I had pretty much everything planned out to go to medical school after my service. Just three weeks before coming to Guinea I took the MCAT and was able to check my scores online during training and was happy with them. However, petit à petit, I’ve been starting to consider other alternatives. I can’t quite pin down the reason for my change of heart, but I think it’s just a combination of the things I’ve seen and learned, about both myself and about medicine. It’s been difficult to admit to myself that the plan I’ve had since as long as I can remember might not be the best option for me. I haven’t yet completely ruled itout, but for the moment I’m starting to think about my other options.  The problem is that I have many varied interests that I don’t think can all be satisfied at the same time. To sum it up: Biology. Education. People. Culture. Africa. Health. Social justice. 
It’s both scary and exciting that I have no idea what I’ll be doing this time next year… Here are a few rough ideas that I've been toying with:
Short term ideas
-Extend my service in Guinea for a year (stay in my village, continue to teach)
-Do Peace Corps Response (6-12 months somewhere in Africa)
-Take advantage of my 1 year non-competitive status from PC and get a job with the US government (Peace Corps, USAID, CDC, Dep’t of Health, Dep’t of Education???)
-Find a short term contract doing something related to health or education with an NGO in a developing country
-Take the GRE to prepare for graduate school
Long term ideas
-Get a Masters in public health and work in some sort of international health field
-Get a PhD in vector biology, entomology, tropical diseases, bacteriology, microbiology or immunology and study infectious diseases, do field work, and become a professor
-Go to med school, work for Doctors Without Borders, Partners in Health, or other related org.
-Get certified as a teacher and teach high school biology

Thoughts, anyone?!?


  1. Hi, Liz!

    More HB wishes. I hope that your birthday was a good one. We sent off 2 packages to you, but way too late to get to you for your birthday, and not really as bdy gifts. Just regular stuff.

    Re all your thoughts here: I'll try to reach you in coming days to discuss a bit. I've got a few thoughts -- nothing earthshaking, but just some things to add to your thoughts mill.

    Hugs from all of us!
    Nancy & Mike, & Dan & Ben, AND TAUQUA bien sure!

  2. I'm studying public health if you ever want to talk about it :) ps. I'll be in Kenya in June...