Friday, May 28, 2010's a hurdle marathon!

Holy Cow! In our last episode I'd finally submitted the multiple materials for the Australasian Medical Council so I can be temporarily licensed to practice in Australia...or so I thought.

Last week, while out of town and away from my computer of course, I got the e-mail stating that my application was incomplete. And there were no fewer than 10 missing items!! To be fair, most they just considered insufficient, unclear, or didn't quite understand. But some of the stuff they wanted was actually different than what the materials said they wanted...for instance, they originally said I need a letter of good standing from my current employer--I sent that....but what they really wanted was a letter of good standing from my current licensing organization--namely the Missouri State Board of professional registration!

They also wanted my exam scores for tests I had to pass almost 20 years ago! I can get those, but it would set me back almost $200 to get them.

Anyway, I've collected, amended, and supplemented my data. I've paid the ADDITIONAL AU$110 necessary as a fine for my original AU$210 application being incomplete and am praying I've dotted all the "i's" and crossed all the "t's" now.

On Tamara's side of things we've hit more obstacles. We couldn't book our 'round the world' ticket for the actual dates we wanted to travel at the end of the trip b/c you can't schedule more than 330 days out. But we had the impression that all we'd need to do was pick our dates, bring in the tickets and they'd change the dates without penalty....well, not so fast buster! Turns out that there are not flights available for our dates! The 'Round the World' tickets are sort of like frequent flyer tickets and there are very limited seats available. We're hoping that one simple option will make the rest of the trip pretty easy to schedule (namely, we need a direct flight from Honolulu to Sydney to open up), but if not, we're going to incur at least one $600 itinerary charge and lose one of our destinations (maybe Beijing). That's very disappointing to say the least. So we need some finger crossing that our scheduling works out.

On a brighter note, Tamara has talked with all of the teachers that the kids would have had (and will for a few weeks) and they have all be super excited about the trip and very willing to help us with our home schooling. Most want to stay in touch while we're there and maybe even have some Skype conferences with their classes so it can be a two way learning opportunity. The kids will be basically virtual students with their Nixa classes.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Clearing more hurdles....

I just dropped 2 more big brown envelopes in the mail today packed full of enough personal information to create a brand new Evan E. Fusco, MD from scratch. This time it was to the Australasian Medical Council and the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine for my temporary licensure and specialty certification. On first glance, the paperwork for this looked quite simple, online application, pay a few, done.....well, it 'twasn't quite so easy. I had to also submit 4 "certified" passport type photos and copies of every diploma I've gotten, every license, my passport, a credit card, letters from my ER section chair, residency program, and 3 hairs off of each of my dogs and children.... (just checking to see if you're paying was just one hair with follicle from each).

By "certified", I had to have a notary public write the following on the back of every photo and photocopy of the paperwork...the stamp and signature wasn't enough, had to be hand written:
"I certify that this is a true photograph/copy of the original sighted by me of Evan E. Fusco", then they had to sign, put their title, license number and the date."

Some originals had to go to the emergency medicine people, but some originals to the AMC, some paperwork to one, other to the other, and sorting it all out was nerve wracking....and, honestly, I'm not sure I've got it all correct. And, if I screwed up anything, the AMC will charge me another $110 to tell me I screwed up and for the privileged of fixing it! I still don't have a formal contract with the hospital, I presume they want to wait until all the licensing and Visa stuff goes through. I hope to start working immediately upon arrival so that we have more time for travel in and around Australia at the end of my 6 month contract, but before we start on our 'around the world' swing.

On the up side, we now have contacts in almost every country we'll be traveling to! It's kind of amazing, as word of our trip has gotten around friends of our have friends or family living in most of the places we'll be going. We haven't made direct contact with some of them yet, but it's nice to know that in a pinch we could probably find someone who knows the terrain.

Let's see...
We have pretty firm commitments from friends to come down for a visit at Christmas and from family (Tamara's side) for Thanksgiving. My parents have started saving up and hope to make the trip down for a visit while we're there as well. Another relative may be coming down with her girlfriend for New Years. Wonder if the Australian Tourism council is going to give us a kick-back?

Tamara and I have taken our Typhoid vaccine (4 pills in 7 days), we'll get the kids theirs in a few weeks. That's needed mostly just for the Asian portion of the trip--it's good for 5 years so it's good to get that out of the way.

We've decided to put copies of all our crucial documents on a thumb drive in case our originals get stolen, lost or damaged. I'll also burn a CD or two to leave here in case the thumb drive is lost stolen or damaged too.

So, maybe not the biggest update, but I haven't posted for a while. The kids get out of school soon, so I may start encouraging them to post some of their thoughts--for posterity sake if nothing else. It's an interesting time, we've moved from the excitement of the reality of the trip to the more intense planning. Trips to the bank for financial arrangements, figuring out how to cut back expenses and pay our bills and keep in touch. Most people at work have stopped asking "I heard a rumor you're moving to Australia." to "When do you leave for your trip? How long will you be gone?" questions.

*edit:B/C someone asked, we leave August 5th, will be in Oz until mid-February 2011, and return to the US late April 2011.