Friday, April 13, 2007

Well, they say you can blog about anything....

This post is not for the squeamish. Okay, I've warned you. Now on to my thoughts on visiting the gynie for the first time in Malaysia!

I was in need of a visit to the gynocologist. No, Triad, I'm not pregnant.

Now, for any men still reading (which I doubt, as the word gyno usually sends them running the other way), a visit to the hoo-ha doctor is never pleasant. So going to a new one is usually a bit nervewracking, but add on to that fact that I am now in a new country where I really know very little about the quality of medical care, and that adds a whole new dimension of ickiness to the whole thing.

I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised at the differences between going to the doctor here versus the US.

So anyhoo, I decided to bite the bullet yesterday, looked at a list of doctors, picked the ones that I had heard good things about and that had good credentials, and did some calling. The first place I called could see me on Monday. Monday! That's unheard of in the US. First of all, some doctors in the US won't even accept new patients, so you have to call around until you can find one that does. Even then, the best they can usually do is 2-4 weeks out, sometimes longer. Now, if you have a regular doctor, it's usually less of a wait, but I didn't have high hopes as I was going to be a new patient wherever I went here.

Then I thought, "well, I hate to wait the weekend", so I thought I'd try my luck and call the next one. They got me in the very next day. How's that for service?!

I arrived early, since I figured I would have to fill out mountains of paperwork, like I always have to in the US. Whether you are a new patient or not, the amount of paperwork they ask from you is often so large that they mail it to you ahead of time so that you can fill it out at home. But it was just a couple of simple forms that I had to fill out. You may ask, "So how do they get your medical history?" Here's the lovely part. After being called back (right on time, another vast difference between here and the US), I was in the doctor's office. The actual office, with a desk, and diplomas, and books and the whole bit. And the doctor was already there! And he got my medical history the way it's supposed to be given...by an actual face to face conversation with the doctor. I never felt rushed, or like he was simply ticking boxes; I felt like he was actually listening. Many times in the US, I would feel like the doctor was too busy, or just going through the motions, so this was really a nice change.

So after our conversation, I went into the other room where the exam would take place. It was right off of his office, so no shuffling around, waiting for the nurse to come and take my vitals (he did it right there in the office), waiting for the doctor, etc.

I'll spare you the details of the actual exam, but we'll just say it was fine. A nurse was in there the whole time. Plus, he did an ultrasound (again Triad, no, I'm not pregnant) to make sure that my inside bits were all where they needed to be, etc.). And what made the difference for me is that he took the time to explain to be what we were looking at, what he saw, all in a very professional but non-clinical way. The ultrasound even looked for cysts and checked to make sure the bloodflow to my ovaries was good. I know that's more info than you really wanted to know about my ovaries, but for a borderline hypochondriac, I like lots of information at the doctor. Plus, I got to see my cute little uterus on ultrasound. Sexy! :)

Then back out into the office, where we talked some more, he told me what he thought and wrote out prescriptions. All in all, a good experience as gyno visits go. I was able to get my prescriptions filled at the pharmacy right downstairs in about 10 minutes. Very efficient. Plus, the whole visit and prescriptions was about what I would have paid in copays alone in the US, and that was the whole amount! (Here, they usually don't file claims for my insurance, so typically you pay for it all up front and then file a claim later).

I felt like I got excellent care, and a compassionate, well trained doctor who didn't herd me in and out of his office like a number. It was such a pleasantly different experience than in the US that I had to share. Okay, overshare, but it's my blog, right?

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2 Comments:

At April 16, 2007 at 3:14 AM , Anonymous donna said...

I thought the post was going to go in the opposite direction. I'm so glad you had a good experience.

So you got to see your girly bits on the screen? Isn't that fun?

 
At April 21, 2007 at 4:54 PM , Anonymous Jen-i-foo-foo said...

"girly bits" - that's funny. You should share your health problems with your older sister who is a health care professional and can give you only mildly useful advice that you should't heed anyway. :)

 

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