Ma had a follow up appointment with the GP, Dr Luz Visuette at Mae Lewis Hospital. I went along for the appointment this time so I was able to observe. I found the doctor kind, caring, thorough, and very competent. She speaks English well, important for Ma who doesn’t speak Spanish. She asked the right questions, and made recommendations that made sense to me. She also called the dermatologist who had seen Ma earlier to consult about their plans of treatment. She spent at least 30 minutes with Ma – $40. There was a sense that she had no other concerns except to see that everything was addressed, all questions were answered, and we were clear on everything we needed to know.
This isn’t how it is in the USA. Doctors there are expected to focus on production, get them in and out, generate revenue. Without revenue, the whole business will implode. You are lucky to get 5-10 minutes, and you know he is very aware of the other patients lined up in the other rooms. It is very unlikely he will have the time to call any other doctors who are also treating you.
Another interesting difference that I’ve seen with all the doctors here – there is no lineup of exam rooms. The doctor him/herself is likely to call you into the office. When you step in, you will be in the actual office with the desk and shelves and whatever else you find in a regular office. The exam room is an adjoining room with maybe a screen or partial wall separating it from the office for privacy. You begin your visit at the desk to discuss what is going on, and then the doctor takes you to the exam area. When the exam is done, the doctor takes you back to the desk to continue the discussion until the visit is finished. There is no lineup of partially dressed patients in other rooms waiting their turns with the doctor. Everyone else is in the hallway or waiting areas.
The doctor had also requested some lab tests. The tests appear to be a CBC (18 tests), chemistry (15 tests) and a UA – $132.80. The lab seems to routinely get things processed and results available in about 2 hours.
Just for good measure, and in the interest of working on my video skills, we recorded the trip from KFC (one of the main landmarks along the PanAmerican Highway) to Mae Lewis Hospital.
The photo at the top of this post is from the Mae Lewis Hospital website.