Marvel: German Doctors

I don’t have any photos for you today.  Are you one of those people that scans the photos and then decides whether or not to read the text?  Well then.  You’ll be out of your comfort zone today.

You should thank me though.  A big part of making New Years resolutions (which um is in like two days – uh oh..) is stepping outside that zone.  Or in it.  That could be debatable.

I’ve now visited three German doctors.  That makes me an expert, right?  Totally.

On Monday morning, I woke up with a scratchy throat.  On Monday night, I felt like I was reeeeeally coming down with something.  I thrashed around with fever aches in the wee hours, waking every 15-45 mins.  On Tuesday morning, I thought I might be at death’s door.  Swallowing was to be avoided at all costs which turned me into one drooly monster.  I begged Doc Sci to call the doctor for me.  I could barely whisper.

You’ve heard about those Germans and how serious they take their time off, right?  The Americans envy them and gripe about how stupid our country is and how we wish WE could take two months off every year.  That’s all very nice in the middle of summer when you’re feeling dandy.  It royally STINKS when you’re sick and searching high and low for a doctor the week between Christmas and New Years.  Bah humbug.

My wonderful husband (who hates cold calling with a passion) called three doctors.  One said, not today.  The others weren’t even in the office.  A friend helped us figure out that there are on-call doctors to back up the MDs who are in the Azores or the Maldives or somewhere expensive and warm like that.  Great.  Except the on-call doctors take a lunch break.  At exactly the time you want to call them.

In a fever-breath whisper, I asked him to call the first doctor back and beg.  Grovel.  Plead.  Do anything you must short of being immoral or illegal to get me an appointment today so we don’t have to figure out German hospitals.  That might really send me into a coma.

The receptionist was tired of trying to communicate in English.  So she gave the phone to the doctor.  Like, the actual doctor.  Right that second.  In America that’s pretty much unheard of at least in my experience.

He probably felt sorry for us, agreed to take me, and said he would wait for my sick self to hobble on over to his office.  Well, what I didn’t realize is that’s exactly what he meant.  HE would wait.

When I arrived, he opened the door, showed me to the waiting room, later examined me, and checked me out.  No nurse.  No grouchy office ladies.  Do US doctors even know how to take a co-pay from a patient?

I have experienced this with all three of the doctors here in my city (hey, hey, there’s that expert advice again!).  In general, nurses don’t take temperatures, listen to heart/lungs, make height/weight measurements, or take notes on a chart.  It’s all doctor all the time.

And speaking of notes, I probably should make one to remember to tell you I filled out absolutely no paperwork to see this doctor.  Everything was on the chip in my health insurance card.  Whoa.  That’s like the future or something.

So now that I’m on penicillin (I think I might have been 9 the last time I took that) and can talk and function again, I’d like to know how it is to see a doctor in your part of the world.  Are American doctors spoiled with all their office help?  Or are German doctors just too do-it-yourself?

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