Congratulations international traveler! You have just discovered a resource for travel abroad which will be more valuable to you than the new luggage you just purchased or the foreign language tapes that promised you fluency in just minutes per day. This is your opportunity to receive straight talk from a physician on the medical risks of travel abroad and what travelers should do to minimize them.
Travel Doctor? Not for me!
In my own medical practice, I am often struck by the low priority that many individuals assign to their health. They casually choose a physician from the yellow pages or an insurance list, but yet apply due diligence when purchasing a flat screen TV or a digital camera. Does this make sense? Similarly, travelers to foreign countries often neglect to consult a physician to prevent malaria, hepatitis, yellow fever or traveler’s diarrhea, yet they methodically study guidebooks of restaurants and accommodations. While we want you to eat and sleep well, we also want you to stay well.
Your first step toward maintaining good health abroad to recognize that travel health must be a high priority item. Then, you need some tips on how to find a travel doctor that’s right for you. I suggest that you choose one who knows more about yellow fever than the yellow pages.
So, check back with us for regular updates. We hope that these entries won’t be a monologue but a dialogue (or diablog!) where you can join the conversation. While we cannot offer any medical advice, (besides, you’ll be consulting with a doctor soon anyway, right?) we can respond to your general questions and concerns.
The next entry will address why you need a real doctor and can’t just ‘click’ your way through the process yourself like you did when you made your hotel reservations. Stay tuned.