Having been to a few doctors while here I have observed a few interesting differences in their methods compared to doctors in the States.
1. They do not have nurses. They keep themselves organized. Therefore, they come out to get their patients themselves.
2. Waiting areas are in the main hallway with the receptionists.
3. The office generally consists of one room with a divider to separate the exam area. The exception to this was the dermatologist who, at one of his offices, has a separate room for surgeries. He does not have a divider for the exam area. The section for the desk may be larger or smaller than the exam room.
4. Some doctors give you their cell phone number in case you have any questions later. Imagine that!
5. Patient information forms are filled out by the doctor when you first meet them. They ask, you answer.
6. For general exams patients do not disrobe. Doctors listen to your heart and lungs through your shirt. The male gynecologist checked my breasts through my gown. No direct skin contact at that end! Of course, at the other end gloves are used…. To check the abdomen the patient simply lifts the shirt and unzips the pants to lower them just enough.
7. Payment for a consult and any procedures includes any and all follow up visits. After my MOHS surgery to remove the two basal cell carcinomas there were numerous return visits at no extra charge. The dermatologist in the States would charge for each keratosis he froze. Here, they are all included in the cost of the office visit. Generally, consults are eighty dollars. When I was having respiratory issues the internist even did an echocardiagram of my heart at no extra charge.
8. Anyone can go to a lab for bloodwork, urinalysis, fecal analysis, etc. without a doctor’s order.
9. Dentists do the teeth cleaning, not a hygienist. They do have assistants, though.
10. For the most part, pharmacists can dispense medications without a prescription from the doctor.