As an expat living in Germany, it’s important that you know
everything about the medical system, its requirements and services in this
country.  Once you’ve settled it’s vital
to find a family doctor commonly a general practitioner who will examine you
thoroughly any time needed prior to a referral to a specialist.

The doctors in Germany are highly qualified according to
world standards; they’re known to be among the best in the world. Albeit their
true commitment and loyalty the great number of patients per day can get a man
frustrated and less cooperative, doctors are humans after all. Finding a doctor
who is available to be on your speed dial every time you’re having a health
concern is a priority.

There are several ways to getting in contact with a doctor.  The first option would be contacting your
embassy and asking for a list of doctors they would recommend. If you don’t
speak the native language you are going to bump into difficulties therefore the
embassies are usually familiar with doctors speaking your language or at least
English as a universal language and provide with that kind of data. 

Another common way is contacting a doctor through friends,
colleagues and random acquaintance recommendations.  If you have already met someone who’s opinion
you cherish you might as well get the contact of his/her general
practitioner.  It doesn’t have to be
permanent though, if you’re having doubts about this doctor you can always get
a second opinion.

The 3rd and easiest way to reach the proper physician is by
surfing their profiles on Google or online
doctor forums. This can be deceiving up to some point since not all doctors
will be able to be at your service or worse, from what you read you won’t be
able to tell what you are looking for in a doctor anymore. This makes the
situation even more confusing yet it’s definitely worth the try. It’s
penniless, doesn’t take much of your time and you can get lucky on your first
attempt. What about health insurance?

In Germany every resident is obliged to sign up for health
insurance. As a student, or a part time worker firstly you
won’t be able to work unless you have insurance
and secondly it’s highly
unlikely to be able to afford the medical expenses, even for a routine checkup,
if one doesn’t own a health insurance.

One can choose between public and private health insurance
in this country. It is true that having a private health insurance plan is very
beneficial, especially if they are from reputable companies such as Allianz
or Mawista
that cover additional expenses. The benefits of signing
up for private insurance allow you access to more comfortable and intimate
environment when staying at the hospital yet they don’t provide for better
doctors. Nevertheless, there are some private clinics that exclusively treat
patients that have a private health insurance so you might want to clear that
up before making an appointment, in case you’ve got yourself public health insurance.

Once you’ve decided on your family
doctor the moment you are having health issues you go directly to him. First
you have to make an appointment of course, through his/her assistant and the
moment they are free you get to go in. Most of the doctors in this country work
on a first come first serve basis so it’s wise to show up 5-10 min early. After
the check up and all the necessary procedures your doctor will write you a
prescription if the diagnoses is obvious yet if he think you need counseling  with a specialist he’ll refer you to a
clinic. In emergency cases, be it after working hours or on holidays, when your
call reaches the answering machine listen carefully coz there is always an
alternative no. of another doctor on call who is able to see you.

If you have a condition that needs constant medication and
treatment having a general practitioner for routine checkups and filling in the
prescriptions is a must.

Doctor in Germany may sound authoritative and slightly
demanding compared to your home country. Besides, they are not keen on giving
additional information except the doctors’ orders however if you feel like you
need to know more about the condition try asking them nicely. Don’t expect any
privacy during the checkup, patients have to go all naked in front of the
doctor in order for him to be through and not miss any hint.