Getting the travel vaccinations that you need before you leave can be stressful. Instead of experiencing excitement, you tend to worry about what vaccines to get, as well as when and where to get them. This can take away the joy of travel. Knowing more about the vaccinations to get ahead of time can help…
What Happens at an Immigration Medical Clearance Exam
An immigration medical clearance exam, also called a green card medical exam, is a routine medical exam for immigrants who are in the process of becoming green card recipients. The purpose of this medical clearance exam is to ensure the health of the individual in order to protect public health. The presence of certain diseases may make the green card process more challenging. This review discusses what happens at an immigration medical clearance exam.
The immigration medical clearance exam process
The exam follows a fairly straightforward and uniform process. Keep in mind that an immigration medical clearance exam is not a full examination, but rather a screening for certain conditions that could put public health at risk. It consists of a medical history review, a check for required vaccines, a physical examination, and tests for communicable diseases.
Medical history review
The exam may begin with the doctor (or a member of their staff) asking a series of questions to learn more about the patient’s medical history. These questions are usually related to:
- Significant health events in the patient’s life (e.g., long stays in the hospital)
- Physical and/or mental diagnoses
- Drug and alcohol use and habits
Certain diseases or the abuse of drugs may make the patient inadmissible. However, patients who are recovering from drug or alcohol users are admissible. The practitioner may also review documents such as immunization records, laboratory tests, and medical insurance information (if applicable).
Checking for required vaccines
There is a list of vaccines that immigrants are required to receive before they are provided with permanent residency (green card). The list may vary based on the patient’s age. Generally, patients are required to have the following vaccines:
- Meningococcal disease
- Pneumococcal pneumonia
- Hepatitis A and B
- Tetanus and diphtheria toxoids
- Haemophilus influenza type B
The doctor can work with the patient to find out which vaccines they need if they do not have the appropriate records of their vaccine history.
The physical exam is routine and typically involves checking the patient’s eyes, ears, nose, and throat. A check of the heart, lungs, lymph nodes, and extremities may also occur. There may be blood tests and X-rays, from which children and individuals who are pregnant may be exempt.
Testing for communicable diseases
Through bloodwork, urine tests, chest X-rays, and other tests, the medical staff will also check the patient for communicable diseases that could present a public health risk. These include but are not limited to tuberculosis, gonorrhea, and syphilis. It is essential to disclose any notable conditions before the examination begins.
Schedule a visit with our primary care clinic
Here at our primary care clinic, we can assist you with your primary care needs. If you have questions about an immigration medical clearance exam or need to schedule your exam, then call us or send us a message today to learn more and get started.
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