Monday, August 4, 2008

My annual OB-GYN visit in Paris

It comes around all too fast....that annual visit that I always dread! And guess what, it's not the same experience here as it is in the states! At least with the doctor I found. I asked friends how their own visits compared, but those I asked don't do this to themselves....they go back to the states to see their own doctor! Oh well, here's how it stacks up in my experience.

The Pros:
  1. The doctor's office is located in a very nice apartment in the 7ème arrondisement. Need to ring the door bell to be let in. Très chic. Have door answered by the doctor herself in her apt/office. Very personal service, don't you think? (Well, actually, this is mostly because it was August and most people have left the city...for les congés annuels, or annual vacation).
  2. The appointment itself only lasts 20 minutes from start to finish. And that's even after the mistake I made writing out a check & had to re-do it! But, no waiting. Very efficient. Nice, eh? but come to think of it, that's not really french is it? (the efficient part, I mean... Ooh, did I really just say that? It's a little catty.....don't you think?! but rings true)
  3. Have pap smear & mamogram done only every 2 years, even if you're over 40. (I know this isn't really a pro, but I have to say that I kind of like this rule!)

The Cons:
  1. Doctor asks you to strip down naked & doesn't give you a dressing gown. Imagine walking across the room butt naked... On the bright side, I suppose a lot of trees are saved by not using disposable gowns, less waste collected and all that, if only we were raised in the states to be more nonchalant about our own nudity!
  2. Doctor is in the room while you are undressing & walking butt naked across the room...waiting for you to sit on the bench & "strap up". Did I say butt naked?
  3. At the end of the visit, the doctor gives YOU the pap smear sample, asks you to put 2 stamps on the envelope, write a check for 16 euros (enclose it in the envelope of course, to pay for the analysis) & mail it to the lab. How bizarre is that!!! I left the office with that thing in my purse.....just a little degulaisse (disgusting), don't you think?

I'm so glad my short trip to the doctor's office is over! I have to admit that I'm more used to the way this works compared to the last time, but it's still a cultural difference. Next on the list is to have my mamogram done, which I'm really looking forward to....not. At least my understanding of french has improved leap years & I don't have to worry about any awkward misunderstandings, or at least let's hope!