Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Dr. Loser

Finding a doc in a new city can be frustrating and challenging. Now add living in a different country where you don't speak the language and the health care system is completely different. Sometimes you just have to get sick to figure the process out.

The last couple of days I just haven't felt myself. I woke up in the middle of the night feeling terrible and knew first thing in the morning I would be on a doctor hunt. Our relocation agent gave us this binder with a list of english-speaking doctors in the area. She had even starred the doc closest to our apartment. Figuring this was a good place to start, I called and made an appointment for later today.

A couple of bells should have gone off in my head hinting me to look in another direction. First off, the doctors name is Dr. Loser. No joke. Next was when the receptionist asked if the appointment was for a general check-up or for a cosmetic purpose and if I was interested in Botox. I know what you are thinking, but this is a different culture. Felt kind of like going to a dentist in the States and all they can keep talking about is getting your teeth whitened.

I show up at the office (if you can really even call it that) and this is the entrance. Notice the sign at the bottom of the door that says, "Danger. Keep Out"? I should have listened. And, the 1980's colored cubes lining the door frame? The bells were ringing this time, but I just kept telling myself, "all you need to do is pee in a cup, gets some antibiotics, and you are set". Done and done.

The office was like nothing I have ever seen before. My best guess is that they had really out done themselves decorating for Halloween this year or that 1980 had thrown-up all over the place. The walls were lined in mirrors. The waiting room had old airplane seats to sit in. There were small, gold doggie trinkets on the shelves and a disco ball over the tree in the corner. Every free space was taken up with some tacky, dance club-inspired feature. Maybe this was like one of those restaurants that turns into a club after hours?

As I am filling out the new patient paperwork wondering if I should just run for the hills, the receptionist comes to escort me back to the doctor. First thing he says to me is, "Do we have to speak in English?". My guess is that wasn't exactly what he meant to say. After not knowing the words for urinary tract infection in Deutsch, I point and say "schmerzen". He laughs, but understands thankfully and shows me to the bathroom. He tells me basically to pee in a cup. I look around for a cup and don't see any beside the plastic drinking cups in the corner. Sure enough, that is what I peed in. Now, where to put the cup? There isn't the standard small door to place the cup in or even a lid to put on top. I walked out to reception and she is waiting for my cup-o-pee.

Test comes back confirming my assumptions and the doctor gives me a package of powder antibiotics. Powder...hmmmm. My fingers are crossed that it works. I will not be going back to this club/doctor's office for any further check-ups. All this office needed was some techno music playing in the background and Dr. Loser wearing Euro-faded jeans under his white lab coat.

Recommendations for doctors near to Enge?


  1. At least his window was red, white, and blue.

  2. I have these problems myself ... and this powder does the trick for me when it is just a small infection. I hope it works as I know the pain well.

    Unfortunately, my doc is in Schlieren so no where near you. But good luck with the next doc!

  3. Good to know this wasn't make believe medicine. Still not feeling perfect, but am a bit better. Hope that isn't me just trying to convince myself. My fingers are crossed.

  4. I like docs with this practice in Seefeld, Dr.med. Katja Deseö-Schütz and Dr Heidi Lorger Waugh

    One of the nurses speaks English, but you can also make an appointment by email. The docs speak excellent English.

    The Permanence walk-in clinic in the Hauptbahnhof serves tourists, so they probably speak English as well and you won't have to wait for an appointment. http://www.permanence.ch/english.htm

  5. So very helpful. Thanks for the recommendation and I love me some appointments by email!

  6. A girl in German Class also recommended the clinic at the HB. She said they charged $50 for the appt. She is from Canada and thought that was robbery, but I thought it was reasonable. Hope you are feeling better my little ms. pacman ghost.

  7. Hey, just wanted to say that the medicine you got is actually the best one available for that problem. Usually you get antibiotics for a week that are totally messing you up. This one is an antibiotic you take once and you're all set.
    So even if the doctor was strange, the treatment was actually fine.
    Oh and be happy you don't live in Denmark, a friend of mine had pneumonia for 4 weeks and all the doctors told her to rest and drink tea, they didn't give her any medicine. Finally she went to the hospital and forced them to treat her... crazy country.

  8. Jen, that makes me feel so much better. Kind of scary just taking whatever is given to you. Thankfully I am feeling better. Hope I won't be seeing another doctor for a while.

  9. I live in The Netherlands and when I have to give urine samples they make me do it at home and then take it to the lab! It's so bizarre *L*

  10. There is an "Artz Zentrum" at Sihl City with docs of all diff specialties, they all speak English, open late, on the top floor by Media Markt....http://www.aerztezentrum-sihlcity.ch/

  11. So very helpful. Thanks for the recommendation and I love me some appointments by email!


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