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Going to the doctor here is nothing like in the US. We go to a medical center just 100 meters down the street from my in-laws to see the pediatrician. When you show up at the lobby area, you let the receptionist know you´ve arrived. There aren´t twenty kids with hacking coughs, runny noses, and other childhood ailments plaguing the area. Maybe three or four other people are around waiting to see different doctors of different specialties. That is, this is not a pediatrician clinic with several doctors seeing several different kids-I don´t think they exist here.
We might wait ten or fifteen minutes but usually the doctor is on time. Once he´s ready to see you, you go into his office which consists of his desk, file cabinet and computer, separated by a small partition where he has his examination table and other instruments. Usually we spend 20 or 30 minutes chatting about the children, among other things, while he does the regular checkups or whatever you´re there for. He also has a couple of toys and puzzles on shelves for the kids to play with while talking.
When we went last week, our daughter went pee on the floor while she was being changed. No big deal…the doctor calls the janitor, he comes in with a mop and some bleach and cleans it up. Need a vaccine? If the vaccine clinic next door isn´t open, the doctor may have it and gives the shot himself. No nurses here. He´ll note down in his records the vaccine and keep it in his file drawer…no massive sliding file shelves for the 3,000 patients at the clinic.
The doctor moves back and forth between his desk and the exam area as needed, occasionally entering some notes on his computer, or writing up medications and dosages if needed. Oftentimes the visit lasts as long as an hour.
When we´re finally done, we shake hands, say our greetings and head back to the lobby to pay. $25. Need I say more?
If only healthcare was like this in the other places!