My Experience Getting Medical Attention in Europe On Vacation
I’ve just returned from a 4 week trip with family which involved 3 different separate subtrips with son and grandson separately which resulted in my not blogging for that period.
It was a very interesting trip due to destinations to Poland –Krakow and Auschwitz– and Berlin and Dresden in Germany with my grown son. My travel with grandson included three countries in the UK where we learned a lot about Brexit speaking with locals in Wales, England and Scotland. In all locations there was interest in potential for Donald Trump to win the Presidency and chance to learn more about political attitudes of people toward immigration and other issues of great interest on both sides of the Atlantic.
I had an especially interesting experience while in Germany when I had pain in foot due to aggravated blister from the 4-7 miles of walking we did each day. The physician wife of my son’s colleague was adamant that I should have the wound looked at by a physician. Unfortunately, their 4 year old was ballistic after dinner when she learned about my injury so there wasn’t time for her to look at it.
We were underway the next morning to Dresden where I had time to find medical attention. My son received email from colleague to remind me to be sure to seek medical attention. So I inquired how one did this in Germany. I learned that one goes to the pharmacist first and gets this professional’s opinion. I walked to the nearest pharmacy from our lodgings and was advised the injury was infected and I should go to see medical doctor immediately. I was fortunate in finding a university medical research center walking distance from the pharmacy.
After waiting 2 and one half hours in the orthopedic clinic where I was the last patient to be seen, I met with department head physician who viewed the wound, gave a diagnosis and wrote up report on the computer. I was then introduced to surgeon and two assistants who did the required surgery in the clinic. All this was accomplished in German which I fortunately could speak well enough. I was asked to pay the bill in cash and given prescription for medication and bandaging for daily changing of dressing. I was surprised that the bill was only $77 euros (the equivalent of $85 dollars.) I asked for some wound care information but learned they don’t have such materials to give to patients. This is handled orally at the subsequent followup appointment at the clinic which I couldn’t have.
The head doctor commented that the bill would be far less than what he would pay in the U.S. and I had to agree.
I made use of my interviewing skills at two pharmacies, one at the clinic and another in England where I got additional bandaging and the information needed until I spoke with an American physician and orthopedic nurse who were on my tour of Britain. The good news is that the wound healed in about 10 days and I was able to undertake the British trip with some difficulty but without destroying my grandson’s enjoyment. This was a fascinating experience for me because despite my 15 years of visiting medical offices, hospitals and clinics internationally, I had never had to seek personal care.
Highlights of Upcoming Bay Area Life Science Events
- Bio2Device Group, Tuesday Evening, August 9, 2016, Topic: “Sooner rather than later: Payer-rationalized trial planning,” Speaker: Elizabeta Gorgoska, Director, Global Life Sciences Pricing, Strategy, and Marketing Specialist, Simon-Kucher & Partners
- WIB-San Francisco Bay Area, Wednesday Evening, August 10, 2016, Topic: “Breakthrough Discoveries in Aging Research;” Panelists: Cynthia Kenyon (VP of Aging Research, Calico), Kimberly Scearce-Levie (Director of Preclinical Translational Biology, Denali Therapeutics), Irina Conboy (Professor, UC Berkeley), Judith Campisi (Professor, Buck Institute)
- NCC AWIS, Saturday, August 13, 2016, Event: 10th Annual NCC-AWIS Potluck Picnic
You can download the complete list of Bay Area events listed in Audreys Picks August 7, 2016 through Sept. by right clicking on the title.