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  • hey guys welcome back to how to switzerland  sarah here today just a casual cell phone video  

  • filming on the floor of my living room because  i just want this to be a relaxed little  

  • story time about going to  the doctor in switzerland

  • so i really wanted to film this because i actually  went to the doctor's office three times this week  

  • which is something that i do not typically do  in switzerland i guess since i've been living  

  • in switzerland on and off and going to school here  and that kind of stuff i always put off anything  

  • medical until i was back in the u.s so um usually  like dental appointments doctor appointments i  

  • would tend to do it while i'm on vacation in the  u.s or things like that but yeah this past week  

  • i was really sick and not getting better after you  know many many days probably after about 14 days i  

  • was not feeling good so i said okay we really have  to go to the doctor and see what is going on in  

  • case i need like you know to get something taken  care of that's serious or whatever so finally  

  • i decided to go to the doctor i do not like going  to the doctor at all i can just say that i do have  

  • a lot of anxiety around going to anything medical  and i also have a massive phobia of anything um  

  • like about needles and blood and that kind of  stuff so i tend to avoid it at all costs and i  

  • know it's especially scary to go to the doctor in  a foreign country and i know a lot of you watching  

  • are in the process of moving to switzerland  or you're interested in moving to switzerland  

  • so more than likely at some point you're going  to need to go to the doctor and i know it can be  

  • you know like i said it's a little intimidating  and scary because you're in like a foreign place  

  • it's not what you're used to and you don't know  what to expect so hopefully with this video i can  

  • um walk you through what happened to me so maybe  it gives you a better idea of what might happen  

  • when you go to the doctor okay so like i saidwent to the doctor three times this week so i'll  

  • try to talk you through each of those appointments  so the first appointment was my um first time ever  

  • at this doctor so i'm considered a new patient so  there's a little bit more involved in that first  

  • appointment so basically we walk into the office  it's what's called like a group practice like um  

  • because of the type of insurance that we have  i think it's called like hmo we have to go to  

  • this specific doctor's office we can't go to any  um doctor that we want based on our insurance  

  • you can choose plans like that where you can go  anywhere but they're more expensive so we went  

  • to this practice and walked in and the guy at the  reception just asked for our insurance information  

  • and that was it really he just asked for that and  here in switzerland the insurance cards have like  

  • the chip on them um similar to like your debit  card it looks exactly the same like the chip  

  • on your debit card you have those on health  insurance cards here um in the u.s we didn't  

  • ever have anything like like that on our health  insurance cards it was just like a piece of  

  • plastic with your policy and your name and stuff  but here there's like you know a chip on it so  

  • obviously they can scan that and get whatever  data that they need so he just looked at the  

  • card scanned it quickly and we sat down i was kind  of surprised that they didn't give me a clipboard  

  • to fill out i feel like if you go to the doctor  in the u.s they always give you like a clipboard  

  • where you have to like fill out your medical  history and like all that kind of stuff and i  

  • didn't get anything they're just like okay we have  the insurance you know you can wait in the waiting  

  • room so we waited for a while in the waiting room  there were actually a good amount of people there  

  • and one thing that i noticed in switzerland so the  waiting room was actually a closed glass room like  

  • it had a door on it and there were quite a lot of  people in there and every time somebody would come  

  • in like they would greet everybody which was kind  of strange to me so somebody would walk in and  

  • be like cruzi and everyone would be like hello  like that like everyone was greeting each other  

  • um whenever somebody went and or sometimes when  people left they would even say like goodbye and  

  • stuff so it was kind of different um interaction  i guess people were really kind of engaging with  

  • each other and that did happen every time i went  so i guess that's kind of a cultural norm here  

  • to greet the people sitting in the waiting room  with you and i guess since it's like a closed  

  • room it feels a little bit more normal to do  that so we waited and then i got called to go in  

  • so in the u.s how it normally worked is if you're  waiting in a waiting room um a nurse or like an  

  • assistant of some sort will come out and be like  sarah and then you know you walk back you get put  

  • in an empty room um they might check a few things  the nurse or the assistant and then usually you  

  • wait in the room for quite a while for the doctor  that's my experience going to the doctor and here  

  • it was not like that at all so actually i was just  waiting in the waiting room and then first of all  

  • they don't call you by your first name here like  i think in the us they always said sarah but here  

  • they said frau norse fraunhors um so they called  me by my last name and um then like they shook  

  • my hand and that was actually the doctor so the  actual doctor she came and got me from the waiting  

  • room and took me directly to her office so there's  no waiting like she just came and got me when she  

  • was ready i guess and then i went in her office  and i wish i had a picture um i didn't really  

  • want to take pictures of it but you know whatever  obviously but um it was very different than like  

  • in the us i found that they're usually very small  rooms typically no window and usually you sit on a  

  • like a bed that's covered in paper but here  the room was very large it had a ton of windows  

  • obviously that's a huge plus and um there was  like a bed that you lay on but like there was  

  • no paper or plastic or anything on it so i figured  i'm supposed to sit in the chairs because over to  

  • the other side of the room there was like a big  desk with um like three chairs on one side and  

  • then one chair obviously for the doctor and likecomputer and all that kind of stuff so she brought  

  • me in and then like we sat down at her desk it  felt kind of like you know when you go to the  

  • bank and you're like sitting like with somebody  telling them information and they're typing it in  

  • it was similar to that because we sat down and  then that's where she actually asked me about  

  • my medical history so the doctor was actually the  one asking allergies like have you had this have  

  • you had that do you have a family history of this  um the things that i'm used to filling out like on  

  • a form she just asked me everything and was typing  it in as we um went along so we basically answered  

  • all those questions got that out of the way and  then she said okay so what brings you in today  

  • and i told her you know i was having really severe  ear and throat pain for two weeks that wasn't  

  • going away and then she said okay like let's take  a look so she pulled you know paper over like the  

  • the bed thing and i went and sat on there and she  just looked in my ears and in my throat and all  

  • that kind of stuff and she could see that it was  infected um but yeah i'm not a medical person but  

  • when you have infections they can either be viral  or bacterial and viral infections there's nothing  

  • you can do to really make it go away faster in  terms of medicine and that kind of stuff but if  

  • it is bacterial that's when you need antibiotics  and she was unable to tell which is normal it's  

  • difficult to tell the difference between a viral  and a bacterial infection she said like based on  

  • what you described and what i see i think it's  viral but it might be bacterial um but the only  

  • way i can determine if it's bacterial is by giving  you a blood test and i did not want to do that i  

  • thought i thought that was a bit strange as well  because in the u.s i've had this kind of stuff  

  • many times and i've never had to give blood in  order to get diagnosed and she said the reason  

  • is she really does not want to give antibiotics  if she's not 100 sure you know that i need it  

  • and um she can tell you know if it's bacterial  and if it requires antibiotics through the blood  

  • so um we said you know and then she said but  basically if you don't want to give blood that's  

  • totally fine i don't think it's bacterial but um  you know take ibuprofen get some rest and if you  

  • don't feel good in like three or four days come  back in and we'll see if we can figure it out  

  • another way so that was about it for the first  visit i think so i could definitely tell that  

  • here there are a lot just from that first  visit they're a lot more like conservative  

  • in how they like prescribe medicine they seem very  hesitant to um give you anything like prescription  

  • grade like she did give me medicine but it was  all like stuff you can buy over the counter  

  • and yeah they're super conservative about  prescribing antibiotics whereas in the us  

  • i've been prescribed antibiotics over the phone  you know you can like call your doctor like i  

  • don't feel good i have like a sore throat and the  doctor will just like call in a prescription um  

  • for a lot of different things just over the phone  obviously the us is a lot looser about pills and  

  • you know medicine and that kind of stuff um and  then there you go three four days went by and i  

  • was still feeling horrible i was feeling about  the same okay so for the next appointment it  

  • was a saturday and we went in they were only open  for like four hours on a saturday but we managed  

  • to get in but i'm super grateful that they were  open i was quite surprised that they're open on  

  • a saturday given just the opening hours of things  in switzerland and this time we walk in and since  

  • they have our insurance and all that youbasically just said my name and they said sit  

  • in the waiting room so i sat in the waiting room  and this time the lady that came and got me from  

  • the waiting room um she worked in like the lab you  know where you give blood and that kind of stuff  

  • so the lady got me and took me directly into the  lab and the same lady oh i get like lightheaded  

  • just talking about it i hate this kind of stuff  but the same lady that pulled me from the waiting  

  • room actually um took my blood so they could test  for bacterial infection so they did that that was  

  • actually really quick they did run it and luckily  they found that there was no signs of a bacterial  

  • infection in my blood um so yeah they did the  blood test and now i'm sitting in the lab waiting  

  • in the lab and now the doctor comes to the  lab and gets me from the lab to take me to her  

  • office so again i didn't have to get put in a room  and wait the doctor came and got me directly and  

  • took me into the office and you know we addressed  everything she went over the results of the of the  

  • blood work she gave further recommendations um and  she said yeah there's like some issue in my ear  

  • and i should come back and get um that sorted out  as well and she gave me more medicine and stuff  

  • um and that was basically it she was super super  knowledgeable and um friendly by the way i should  

  • say um it kind of goes without saying but they all  spoke extremely good english i never like force  

  • people to speak english like if they want to speak  german that's totally totally fine but it seems  

  • like they they prefer to if they can tell that  you are american um i did have matias with me as  

  • well though of course sometimes the doctor might  be looking for a word that they might not know  

  • right off the top of their head in english so yeah  that was basically it so yeah the blood sample was  

  • negative so i didn't need antibiotics and she gave  me a different medication like over-the-counter  

  • again over-the-counter type of thing and said  come back in like two days and we're gonna like  

  • clean out your ear and we're gonna like look  at something else in your ear to see if there's  

  • like uh something else going on in there or  whatever and then for the third appointment  

  • which was actually this morning so i'm trying  to film this while this is fresh in my head um  

  • went in said my name sat down so the same lady  who got me from the waiting room is the one who  

  • uh took care of my ear and then that was it the  doctor came into the room where i was and she  

  • talked me through everything and said things are  looking better and whatever so i think that's it  

  • i don't know if this is helpful at all i'm just  trying to describe you know kind of what happened  

  • so you can know a little bit more what to  expect and actually some things that are  

  • slightly different i feel like the doctors here  like do a lot more um i feel like in the u.s  

  • you always had like nurses and like lab people and  assistants and stuff and the doctor would really  

  • just come in for like five minutes and look at  you and be out really really fast whereas here  

  • i mean the doctor i had today she was drawing i'm  not kidding she was drawing me diagrams of like  

  • ears and all the tubes and like you know really  making sure that i understand the problem and  

  • she spent a long time with me explaining how  i can prevent things like this in the future  

  • and stuff and she was extremely extremely helpful  and like just caring and it felt a lot different  

  • going to the doctor here um yeah it was justlittle bit more like it didn't feel as rushed  

  • you know what i mean um which was really nice and  also the doctors here were all in like uniforms  

  • like some sort of scrubs or something whereasfeel like in the us they were normally in like  

  • were they always into like just like a tie like  if it was a guy i feel like he was usually just  

  • in like a like a nice outfit like business casual  whereas here um of course if you're in a hospital  

  • in the states they all have like scrubs on and  stuff but i'm talking if you just go to like  

  • a general doctor like i did i feel like it was  usually they were doctors usually not in uniform  

  • but here they were um so yeah and then the  last thing that's obviously interesting which  

  • i'm gonna have to make a second video is the  billing so i'm gonna be honest i have no idea  

  • how much all of this is going to cost as an  american the first thing that i think is like  

  • why do i keep going back this is going to be so  expensive i don't want to go three times like this  

  • is good is this gonna cost me like a thousand  dollars like how much is it gonna cost and um  

  • basically we don't know like i asked um about  this is our first time using our swiss insurance  

  • and um we asked like do we have to pay anything  upfront because again in the us in my experience  

  • you pay like this co-pay right when you go to  the doctor like 20 to 30 dollars you pay that  

  • upfront and then of course things get worked out  with your insurance or whatever but um when we  

  • went we didn't have to pay anything all three  times we didn't have to pay anything they just  

  • said um we are going to build your insurance  and then you will get they said like a copy  

  • um so i don't know if the copy is gonna have  a bill attached to it or not i tried to look  

  • in my insurance policy to find details about  if we have a copay or if we just have to pay  

  • everything until we meet our deductible what's  included and i couldn't really find anything  

  • um i should look a little bit deeper butfigure i'll just wait a week or two until  

  • we get the bill and see what happens and then  i can even go over it with you guys how much  

  • all of this costs because yeah i mean healthcare  in switzerland it's not socialized it's not free  

  • it's it you know it can get expensive not us  expensive but yeah we'll see how much it costs  

  • for these doctors appointments i think that's it  i have some notes here but yeah overall i had a  

  • great experience given everything given my anxiety  around going to the doctor and stuff i feel like  

  • they were very accommodating to me and yeah that's  it anything to add matthias did i miss anything  

  • no thank you i cover it okay all right i hope you  found this helpful or interesting in some way you  

  • guys if you liked it if you like these casual  videos let me know in the comments leave this  

  • video a thumbs up make sure to subscribe if you  are new around here and i'll talk to you soon bye

  • you

hey guys welcome back to how to switzerland  sarah here today just a casual cell phone video  

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