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Author Topic: How long were you in korea before your medical exam  (Read 3667 times)

Offline Mja017

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How long were you in korea before your medical exam
« on: October 27, 2014, 07:48:57 PM »
I have been offered a position at an Avalon next month. I was hoping that a few of you could shed some light on how long you were in the country before taking the medical exam. I have read you "technically" have up to 90 days to complete it. But I have also read quite a few horror stories concerning people getting taken to a hospital the day of/after arriving. If anyone has (or know of someone who has) worked at an Avalon could shed some light on the matter it would be greatly appreciated. I understand that they are franchises but I assume that there could be some kind of policy across the board regarding the matter.

Offline skippy

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Re: How long were you in korea before your medical exam
« Reply #1 on: October 28, 2014, 01:34:31 PM »
I have been offered a position at an Avalon next month. I was hoping that a few of you could shed some light on how long you were in the country before taking the medical exam. I have read you "technically" have up to 90 days to complete it. But I have also read quite a few horror stories concerning people getting taken to a hospital the day of/after arriving. If anyone has (or know of someone who has) worked at an Avalon could shed some light on the matter it would be greatly appreciated. I understand that they are franchises but I assume that there could be some kind of policy across the board regarding the matter.

The hospital visit for the health check before registration is 90 days - legally.  No health check and you can not be registered (get ARC).  Past 90 days and you visa will be canceled by immigration.   

As to how soon a person is taken for health check.  Really all depends on many factors.   Many of the bigger chains like you say are on the ball and like to get things finished quickly.  So they will often get the check done and register the person to get thinks done and settled.   While others hagwons both big and small may drag their feet for a week or two or three.  While others will humm and haw and drag it out for weeks to months..   In all, there really is no set policy with hagwons for health check and registration.

My advice is ask the present expat employees of the school was done for them. Heck even the boss how soon for registration will be done.    Just know it might raise some questions and suspicions.   

Do know that delaying the health check and registration will cause some troubles.   Getting things like bank account, phones, services will be difficult without an ARC.

I am really trying hard not to read between the lines here.  Why the worry on a doing the health check early?  Is about certain tests?   Or is the cost of the check?
« Last Edit: October 29, 2014, 10:52:17 AM by skippy »
Please consider adding some info to your "Personal Text"  Like type of school, visa status, county of origin.  These little bits of info can help people help you.

Offline ashe1590

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Re: How long were you in korea before your medical exam
« Reply #2 on: October 28, 2014, 01:47:35 PM »
I am really trying hard not to read between the lines here.  Why the worry on a doing the health check early?  Is about certain tests?   Or is the cost of the check?

My thoughts too. I don't want to jump to conclusions either but unless you are hoping to wait for a specific time frame to pass so you would get a clear test on drugs or diseases, then I don't see why getting taken the day after you arrived would be a 'horror story'. I think we did our health check within the first 2 days of EPIK orientation, and no one thought it was strange.

Offline philby1985

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Re: How long were you in korea before your medical exam
« Reply #3 on: October 28, 2014, 01:58:23 PM »
But I have also read quite a few horror stories concerning people getting taken to a hospital the day of/after arriving.
Can you provide a link to the horror stories? I'm really curious to read them now.

I think we did our health check within the first 2 days of EPIK orientation, and no one thought it was strange.

Same. 7am on day 1 of Orientation. Most people had only flown in the night before.
http://gdaykorea.blogspot.com.au/2013/02/epik-orientation-day-1.html

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Re: How long were you in korea before your medical exam
« Reply #4 on: October 28, 2014, 02:02:55 PM »
I remember getting our health check the second or third day of orientation. Some people seemed worried. Wonder why....

Offline pilferstarfish

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Re: How long were you in korea before your medical exam
« Reply #5 on: October 28, 2014, 02:16:30 PM »
I work at an Avalon school. I got my health check sometime in the first couple of weeks. They were pretty relaxed about it.

Offline Mja017

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Re: How long were you in korea before your medical exam
« Reply #6 on: October 28, 2014, 11:59:33 PM »
But I have also read quite a few horror stories concerning people getting taken to a hospital the day of/after arriving.
Can you provide a link to the horror stories? I'm really curious to read them now.

I think we did our health check within the first 2 days of EPIK orientation, and no one thought it was strange.

Same. 7am on day 1 of Orientation. Most people had only flown in the night before.
http://gdaykorea.blogspot.com.au/2013/02/epik-orientation-day-1.html

Sorry if I was too vague initially. My primary concern is that in the past I have had to take (prescribed) anti anxiety medication to fly, and I have read that Koreans are typically very against anti anxiety meds+anti depressants. NOTE: I do not take anti anxiety medication on a regular basis. I frankly just am not a super big fan of flying, and a flight this long seems a little daunting. As to the horror stories, I'm currently on my iphone and don't have the patience to dig through multiple tabs + google searches to provide links, but I can say with certainty that I have read on here, Dave's, and reddit instances in which people were taken almost immediately to a hospital and were subsequently extraordinarily dehydrated, stressed/exhibited unusually high blood pressure etc etc as a result of jetlag/general exhaustion. Related to my initial concern is that my aversion to flying, (especially without an anti anxiety medication) would result in a doctor/nurse/whatever, who speaks little to no English to take one look at my results and report that I was somehow physically unfit/incapable of teaching.
I suppose that it's probably just in my best interest to skip the medication prior to my flight and opt for a glass of wine. Thanks for your responses.

Offline Winglesscaveman

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Re: How long were you in korea before your medical exam
« Reply #7 on: October 29, 2014, 12:50:47 AM »
While I don't know how long medicine like that stays in your system, for most things, Koreans are pretty lax.  For example, I had just gotten over the worst of a bought of temporary blindness in my left eye and a fractured left wrist (as in, had they tried any sort of physical fitness test I would have failed), before my second medical exam.  I did actually fail the eye exam in the eye that had just recovered (not fully) from blindness.  This still didn't make them fail me.  In fact, they just said, "Do you think you'll be healthy soon?"

Never say no to that question. I said yes and they never questioned me about my eye again.

You can also get a note from the doctor prescribing you the anti-anxiety medication. One of my coworkers was on medication for a very mild medical issue related to weight issues that also treats some sort of depression.  She didn't know it was also commonly used to treat depression, so she almost got rejected from Korea period.  Then, she got a doctor's note and was immediately accepted for a hagwon position.

Koreans love to know you are in good health and have your good health backed up by evidence whenever it comes into question.  Bring that note just incase your medicine does get picked up during the test. 

Offline nancy

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Re: How long were you in korea before your medical exam
« Reply #8 on: October 29, 2014, 07:20:48 AM »

I wouldn't worry about it. When they asked at the hospital about medications I told them I took lorazepem to help me sleep on the plane and whenever I have trouble sleeping and there was no problem. I had my medical 2 days after arriving (but I had the wine on the plane too just to make sure the medication was working~the best sleep I had had in quite a while! ;D).

Offline Tardisgirl

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Re: How long were you in korea before your medical exam
« Reply #9 on: October 29, 2014, 08:03:48 AM »
I came at an off time (November) through EPIK so my coteacher and I had to do it on a day we were both free. Usually they do that on the first day since you have to meet your coteacher and head to your schools.

But apparently my hospital (small and in a southern province) couldn't do certain tests right away if you were on your period (TMI I know but still a WTF). I had to go 3 different times because the hospital didn't want to test me the first two times. By the end I was like... seriously just do it. Who the f cares.

If we hadn't done it, by that last time I was going to just make shit up. I'm sure we pushed the 90 day limit. No one I've spoken to ever had the same problem.

Offline Morfee

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Re: How long were you in korea before your medical exam
« Reply #10 on: October 29, 2014, 09:29:47 AM »
I came at an off time (November) through EPIK so my coteacher and I had to do it on a day we were both free. Usually they do that on the first day since you have to meet your coteacher and head to your schools.

But apparently my hospital (small and in a southern province) couldn't do certain tests right away if you were on your period (TMI I know but still a WTF). I had to go 3 different times because the hospital didn't want to test me the first two times. By the end I was like... seriously just do it. Who the f cares.

If we hadn't done it, by that last time I was going to just make shit up. I'm sure we pushed the 90 day limit. No one I've spoken to ever had the same problem.

Haha! How the hell would that make any difference??

They test for some drugs, STDs and that's about it really.

Offline JasonB13

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Re: How long were you in korea before your medical exam
« Reply #11 on: October 29, 2014, 11:10:31 AM »
When I first arrived in Korea, I was taken to the hospital within the first week, maybe my second or third day of teaching. Mainly because my CT was a bit busy with some paperwork due to it being the middle of the semester. I started at the end of June, and the previous NET's final day was the day before my first. I started Friday, She left on Thursday. So there were a lot of transition things.

I, too, don't understand why this is such a big deal. Unless you know there would be something that wouldn't give you a pass, then you don't have to worry about anything. As long as you go within the 90 day limit. The quicker you get it done, the faster you get your ARC to get paid and internet and all the other good stuff that the ARC allows you to do.

Offline philby1985

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Re: How long were you in korea before your medical exam
« Reply #12 on: October 29, 2014, 11:21:08 AM »
As to the horror stories, I'm currently on my iphone and don't have the patience to dig through multiple tabs + google searches to provide links, but I can say with certainty that I have read on here, Dave's, and reddit instances in which people were taken almost immediately to a hospital and were subsequently extraordinarily dehydrated, stressed/exhibited unusually high blood pressure etc etc as a result of jetlag/general exhaustion.

So, what happened to these people to make these stories "horror" stories? Were they deported due to the results of their medical exam (high blood pressure, dehydration)?

Offline Mja017

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Re: How long were you in korea before your medical exam
« Reply #13 on: October 29, 2014, 11:33:09 AM »
As to the horror stories, I'm currently on my iphone and don't have the patience to dig through multiple tabs + google searches to provide links, but I can say with certainty that I have read on here, Dave's, and reddit instances in which people were taken almost immediately to a hospital and were subsequently extraordinarily dehydrated, stressed/exhibited unusually high blood pressure etc etc as a result of jetlag/general exhaustion.

So, what happened to these people to make these stories "horror" stories? Were they deported due to the results of their medical exam (high blood pressure, dehydration)?

Do you think that if their posts had adequately addressed my question/concerns I would have come here to ask the members of this community? Maybe the phrase "horror stories" was a bit dramatic, I'm not suggesting the anecdotes I had encountered literally included grizzly murders or something. Geeesh.

Offline Mja017

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Re: How long were you in korea before your medical exam
« Reply #14 on: October 29, 2014, 11:59:03 AM »

I wouldn't worry about it. When they asked at the hospital about medications I told them I took lorazepem to help me sleep on the plane and whenever I have trouble sleeping and there was no problem. I had my medical 2 days after arriving (but I had the wine on the plane too just to make sure the medication was working~the best sleep I had had in quite a while! ;D).

Thank you for the reassurance, I had hoped as much. 

Offline philby1985

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Re: How long were you in korea before your medical exam
« Reply #15 on: October 29, 2014, 02:43:58 PM »
Do you think that if their posts had adequately addressed my question/concerns I would have come here to ask the members of this community? Maybe the phrase "horror stories" was a bit dramatic, I'm not suggesting the anecdotes I had encountered literally included grizzly murders or something. Geeesh.

Disappointing.  :sad:

Of course I didn't expect grizzly murders... but I thought there was something more to the stories than "oh, I was tired and had to go for a medical exam"....

Offline tamjen

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Re: How long were you in korea before your medical exam
« Reply #16 on: November 01, 2014, 11:29:39 AM »
I had my medical exam about 4 hours after I landed in Korea. Was met at the airport by my recruiter. Taken to the Office of Education where I met my co-teacher. Went through about a 90 minute presentation along with all the other newbies. Off to eat something, then straight to the hospital.

I didn't go through the EPIK Orientation 1 week thing until the start of my 3rd year.
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Offline Horsey

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Re: How long were you in korea before your medical exam
« Reply #17 on: November 01, 2014, 08:01:09 PM »
I think you'll be fine. Bring a doctor's prescription/note just in case, that states the medication and ideally the purpose (fear of flying).

Any reasonable person, especially a health professional who administers the test, will know this has no impact on your general ability to teach.

Offline Nominstar86

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Re: How long were you in korea before your medical exam
« Reply #18 on: November 06, 2014, 01:36:54 AM »
That would depend on who your employer is. The hagwon that hired me wants me to do the health exam the second day I get there. Try to get it done as soon as possible so that it doesn't become a burdening obstacle.

Your medication for the fear of flying shouldn't pose any threats or should be questioned in-depth as long as there is proof what it is for it should be fine.
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Offline Chicagohotdog

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Re: How long were you in korea before your medical exam
« Reply #19 on: November 06, 2014, 07:43:01 AM »
EPIK orientation...i landed at 5PM and by 8AM the next morning I was having my medical exam.

Don't worry about your meds - if you have a prescription for them everything should be fine.  They really only checking for narcotics...and AIDS...because Korea...
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