A new country, new doctors… so how nude should I be?

call doctor

Going to the doctor in another country can be a challenge. Things are just done differently. In Austria, you have a general practitioner for the ‘standard’ things – your Hausarzt (House Doctor) – but as soon as there is a specialization such as skin doctor, children’s doctor or gynecologist, you have to see someone separately.

In the beginning things weren’t so difficult because everyone was aware I was new and unsure of the language, so everything was over-explained to me. The problem was that as time went on, although I became familiar with German, that didn’t mean that I never missed things in the moment. And it happened to me too many times at the doctor, that I would be ushered into an empty room, with something muttered as the door was closed behind me. Now I knew that the muttering was telling me to remove some part of my clothing, but of course I had no idea which part or parts. And no doctor wants to walk in on a fully nude patient when they’re only meant to be half nude. I’d always err on the side of cautious, and had plenty of false starts, so pretty soon I took to writing myself notes for anything that logically required a next visit.

For an EKG I need to take my top half off including bra, for the standard yearly ultrasound the top half needs to come off but I can leave my bra on. For the skin doctor I need to take it all off except for my underpants, and for the gynecologist, well I’ve already written about that before.

I’ve also got notes for other things like whether or not I can eat and drink before certain appointments and of course the classic… where to leave the pee sample!

Unfortunately my current Hausarzt has just retired so I’m going to have to start some of my notes from scratch, and potentially endure some more embarrassing, half-nude moments.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s