Where to go? Who to call?
Choosing German Doctors (Ärzte in German) or specialists can be a bit daunting when you arrive in a new city, specially if you do not speak any German.
But most of them do speak some English and you can call directly the specialist of your choice without being referred to by a generalist.
This means that you usually do not have to explain why you are calling, just say that you want an appointment.
Here are a few German terms that you might find useful while making an appointment with German doctors or specialists, in private or semi-private clinics, and hospitals:
Ich Möchte einen Termin machen, bitte. (I would like to make an appointment, please.)
Es ist dringend. Haben Sie einen früheren Termin? (This is urgent, do you have an earlier appointment?)
Ich Habe ein Fieber (I have fever)
Ich habe schmerz (I have pain)
Mein Kind hat ein Fieber (my child has fever)
You can use the phonebook to find the address of generalists and specialists in your area or use the web-site of the
German Medical Association.
It is a very useful site and part of it is in English and French. To find a doctor in your area, you simply click on "arztsuche" (doctor search) and choose the region in which you live. Of course, you can also ask colleagues and friends to give you suggestions. You can also change doctors if the one you are dealing with does not satisfy your expectations.
Also, doctors in Germany are not taught to explain to their patient the details about their condition and possible treatments. So, if you have a question, do NOT hesitate to ask. It is not that they do not want you to know, it's just not in their habit to explain.
Here are a few specialists that you can find directly in the local phonebook, or on-line, with their appropriate translation:
Allergologie- Specialist for allegies
Allgemainmedizin und Praktische Arzte- General Practioners
Chirurgie- Surgery (surgeon)
Diabetologie und Endokrinologie- Diabetes and Endochrinologist
Onkologie- Oncology (cancer)
Kinder- und Jugenmedizin- Doctors for children and youths (pediatre)
Schmerztherapie- Therapy against chronic pain
And many more.
Note that many of these names are very similar to those used in English and that in the phonebook, under Ärzte, you will usually find a description of each specialty to help you decide who you should call.
Once again, you can call any of these doctors directly to take an appointment.
You should also be aware that there is a 10 euros fee per quarter to visit German doctors. So, lets say you have an appointment with your doctor in January and it is your first visit of this quarter (January to April), you would then have to pay the 10 euros for this first visit. But, then, if you return for a second visit, or if you go to a different specialist, during the same quarter, you will not have to pay a second time, providing you brought the receipt with you as a proof of payment. Otherwise, if you have forgotten to bring this receipt, you will be charged another 10 euros. Next time you go, remember to bring BOTH proof of payment with you and they will reimburse you the second 10 euros.
There are two very important emegency numbers in Germany:
112 is the nation wide emergency number for doctors and
110 is for the police
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