After almost two years in Panama, the day finally came when I realized I had an ear infection and needed antibiotics. I drove to a nearby medical clinic and was pleasantly surprised at what I found.
- I was given forms to fill out, and an English-speaking nurse asked if I needed help filling out the forms. (I didn't, but it was nice of her to ask.)
- As soon as my forms were filled out, a nurse took me back to take my vital signs. It was more thorough than anything I'd done in the US. The nurse took my weight AND my height, my blood pressure, my temperature, and the oxygen level in my blood.
- When the doctor saw me, she asked me typical questions in English and listened to my lungs, looked into my throat and checked my ears, all in a squeaky-clean exam room.
- My doctor prescribed antibiotics and something for the pain.
- I went to the front and asked for my bill. I did a triple-take when I saw the doctor visit was only $20!
- The pharmacy was part of the same facility, so I didn't have to drive somewhere else. I walked four steps and handed my prescriptions to the pharmacist.
- Instead of having to wait, she filled my prescription within 2-3 minutes.
- I paid another $21 for two prescriptions and was back home before my coffee had time to get cold.
Wow, what a painless experience. Maybe I won't wait so long to go to the doctor next time.