Do you need to see a doctor? If you do, this is a must read for you!

Regardless of cultural backgrounds, as a human being I believe each of us would feel uneasy when going to see a doctor. It’s an experience you would like to avoid but could hardly escape from, however.

Before coming to the England, I was a bit worried as many of my friends told me seeing a doctor in the UK is not as easy as doing that in Taiwan, where people just visit a clinic or hospital whenever they feel it’s necessary. In the UK, visiting a doctor means you have to make an appointment every time. Therefore, I think the best way to save myself from the trouble seeing a doctor here is to lead a healthy lifestyle and stay close to nature.  Besides my coursework in Landscape Architecture, I also participate in the FCH Edible Garden Project and enjoy a great time being close to nature.

Just when I feel satisfied that I’ve managed my health so well, it is the unforeseen that always happens.  My recent encounter with a group of new friends, stinging nettles, in the garden has eventually brought me an opportunity meeting a doctor in the UK.

Being reluctant to see a doctor, I struggled to live with stings caused by my friends for one week even they hurt very badly, but as an unusual rash broke out all over my body, I realized I had to face reality. Just as I plucked up my courage to ring the Underwood Surgery and imagined that I would have to wait for a couple of days to make an appointment, the entire process was unexpectedly simple and easy.

Luckily enough, after calling the Surgery, it arranged a doctor to ring me back for initial diagnose within 5 minutes, and after evaluating my situation, the doctor arranged me to see him immediately. Upon my arrival at the Surgery, the only thing I did was to provide my name and date of birth, and the doctor came to greet me within only 1 minute! Different from the doctors in Taiwan, who almost always wear hygiene masks and patients can hardly see their faces, doctors here are more like neighbours living next door!  The doctor carefully examined my rashes, explained my symptoms, and explained the medication as well as possible side effects. I must admit that, in my country, doctors usually wouldn’t be able to spend that much time consulting with a patient as they have to see a lot of patients. And I guess that’s one of the benefits of making an appointment in advance. So exclamation marks, one after another, well describe my first experience seeing a doctor here.

While arriving in the UK, most people would be more concerned about finding a place to live as well as learning how transportation system works. Finding a doctor is probably the last thing you would consider about doing on the checklist. To see a doctor in the UK, you first need to register with a medical institution, in our case either the Medical Centre on the Park Campus, or Underwood Surgery on St. George’s Road. The process is very simple, and I would recommend fellow international students to do as soon as you get settled. According to Murphy’s law, you never know when you need one after all.

The health system here is run by the National Health Service(NHS) with many services provided for free.  There is no consultation fee to see a doctor, and the service is prompt and hassle-free.  If you get a prescription from the doctor, just go to a pharmacy nearby, even though you have to pay for the medication, the NHS has placed a price cap on most medicine, and thus most of the time it won’t cost you too much.

The winter is coming, as I just recovered from illness caused by ever-changing weather, I hope all of you stay warm and healthy!

Regardless of cultural backgrounds, as a human being I believe each of us would feel uneasy when going to see a doctor. It’s an experience you would like to avoid but could hardly escape from, however.

Before coming to the England, I was a bit worried as many of my friends told me seeing a doctor in the UK is not as easy as doing that in Taiwan, where people just visit a clinic or hospital whenever they feel it’s necessary. In the UK, visiting a doctor means you have to make an appointment every time. Therefore, I think the best way to save myself from the trouble seeing a doctor here is to lead a healthy lifestyle and stay close to nature.  Besides my coursework in Landscape Architecture, I also participate in the FCH Edible Garden Project and enjoy a great time being close to nature.

Just when I feel satisfied that I’ve managed my health so well, it is the unforeseen that always happens.  My recent encounter with a group of new friends, stinging nettles, in the garden has eventually brought me an opportunity meeting a doctor in the UK.

Being reluctant to see a doctor, I struggled to live with stings caused by my friends for one week even they hurt very badly, but as an unusual rash broke out all over my body, I realized I had to face reality. Just as I plucked up my courage to ring the Underwood Surgery and imagined that I would have to wait for a couple of days to make an appointment, the entire process was unexpectedly simple and easy.

Luckily enough, after calling the Surgery, it arranged a doctor to ring me back for initial diagnose within 5 minutes, and after evaluating my situation, the doctor arranged me to see him immediately. Upon my arrival at the Surgery, the only thing I did was to provide my name and date of birth, and the doctor came to greet me within only 1 minute! Different from the doctors in Taiwan, who almost always wear hygiene masks and patients can hardly see their faces, doctors here are more like neighbours living next door!  The doctor carefully examined my rashes, explained my symptoms, and explained the medication as well as possible side effects. I must admit that, in my country, doctors usually wouldn’t be able to spend that much time consulting with a patient as they have to see a lot of patients. And I guess that’s one of the benefits of making an appointment in advance. So exclamation marks, one after another, well describe my first experience seeing a doctor here.

While arriving in the UK, most people would be more concerned about finding a place to live as well as learning how transportation system works. Finding a doctor is probably the last thing you would consider about doing on the checklist. To see a doctor in the UK, you first need to register with a medical institution, in our case either the Medical Centre on the Park Campus, or Underwood Surgery on St. George’s Road. The process is very simple, and I would recommend fellow international students to do as soon as you get settled. According to Murphy’s law, you never know when you need one after all.

The health system here is run by the National Health Service(NHS) with many services provided for free.  There is no consultation fee to see a doctor, and the service is prompt and hassle-free.  If you get a prescription from the doctor, just go to a pharmacy nearby, even though you have to pay for the medication, the NHS has placed a price cap on most medicine, and thus most of the time it won’t cost you too much.

The winter is coming, as I just recovered from illness caused by ever-changing weather, I hope all of you stay warm and healthy!

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