Monday, October 14, 2013

Going to the doctor

I have been fighting a cold or something...possibly the Korean crud as they call it.  After not getting any better with over-the-counter medicine, I asked my co-teacher, Gayong, to take me to the doctor.

This was an experience I will not soon forget.  We walked right in since there is no appointment necessary.  You take a number and wait for them to call you.  I took a number and was called maybe 2 minutes later.  I gave them my ARC card (Alien Registration Card) and told them my symptoms.  Then I sat back down and waited to be called back to the doctor.

The clinic waiting room...

Not 5 minutes later, I was called back to the doctor's office where the doctor sat at his desk with his computer and a nurse assistant was there to help him.  He spoke enough English to understand me and used a scope to look at my nose and ears, while showing me the picture on the big computer screen.  I was in his office maybe 5 minutes.

Then I went back to the front desk where I paid for the doctor's visit and got my prescription.  She told me an amount and then wrote it down on a piece of paper.  I didn't think it could possibly be right.  It said 390w.  I took out 4,000 won ($4.00), and she only took one of those and gave me back change.  So I paid 390 won or about 35 cents for my doctor's visit.

My prescription...

I took my prescription and went down to the pharmacy on the 1st floor.  I only waited about 3 minutes for my prescription, and I only paid $2.00 for my three days of medicine.  In Korea, you don't get a whole bottle of medicine.  They only give you enough for a couple of days, and you are supposed to come back if you don't feel better.  Makes sense, doesn't it?

The pharmacy...


All in all, it took about 15 minutes for me to visit the doctor's office and get my prescription and be out the door.  I sure did like it a lot better than it taking several hours like it does at home.  I've finished half a book waiting at the doctor's office before.  You wait in the big waiting room, and then you wait some more in the little examination room.  This was so much better.  Gayong told me that in Korea, you do not have a set doctor that you see on a regular basis.  You can go to any clinic and see any doctor.  Sweet!

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