I always have several days of thinking’s when I go to my doctors in Russia. I had some new experiences this last weekend because we had to find me a new cardiologist. My other cardiologist has retired and I was forced to start looking for another doctor to deal with this grouchy bear! (me)
Svet and I found a new clinic near one of the Gazprom banks that she works at downtown. She found me an endocrinologist and a cardiologist under the same roof so to speak.
This clinic is almost brand new and as modern as anything I have ever been to in my life. My old clinic (was just that, old!) was built during the Soviet era. I had adjusted to that clinic, so when I was entering the new one I was taken back by the modernness. I also wondered if this was going to be expensive just like health care in America… (Never fear it was extremely reasonable if not cheaper than the older unit we went to!)
I always am still amazed by the fact that literally all doctors in Russia are women. After being raised in a stereotype world that doctors are men, it still is hard for me to realize that when I go into a health care facility that everyone who is there to help me, are women. In Russia the doctors are Women. (The men do what men do best and run the maintenance crews for the buildings.)
I really respected my last cardiologist and she was very knowledgeable and a wonderful person. She had spent many years helping people and was way due to have a life of her own. I will miss being under her wing, so to speak…
Enter a new cardiologist: This young lady is still finishing up some long term studies at her university but is a certified cardiologist. She was very excited about having an American as a patient. It looks like this will be a good thing because at her university I can get testing done for free or very reasonable prices. I could tell by what she was saying that she had a brain and knew how to use it. That is very important to me… 🙂
Lets talk about a test that they do here every time I see the cardiologist. It is a heart sonogram (echocardiography), this is a test that I never had done in America yet here it is done regularly and gives the doctor a basis to see if damage has increased or decreased in the heart and vessels. The biggest advantage to echocardiography is that it is noninvasive (doesn’t involve breaking the skin or entering body cavities) and has no known risks or side effects. That is the part I like…
These tests over almost 4 years have actually shown no deterioration in my hearts physical condition. It seems that I am doing all the right things and my heart is not getting any worse for the wear. Now this is not to say that I can go hog wild and do what ever I want. It means that I have leveled out and am no longer having serious damage done to my heart as we speak. Damage I have to my heart because I was stupid and spent years ignoring pain in my chest and arms because I could not stop work long enough to check it out… (Did I say stupid?)
I also while at this new clinic went to see a new endocrinologist due to the fact that I did not want to have to travel all over Moscow just to see different doctors at different places. Once again she (yes a she), very well educated and knowledgeable.
Lets talk about a couple of the biggest contrasts between American doctors and Russian doctors.
I never in all my years in America had a doctor that would take more than 15 minutes to really listen to what you had to say about your problems. In fact most of the time an America doctor spends is looking at his watch because he has patients lined up down the hall way and has to see them all. In America I would wait two to three hours to see the doctor and spend 10 minutes with the doctor. You could not understand half of what he mumbled about and the nurse always explained everything to you later as you paid the bill…
In Russia, the doctor asks a million questions and checks a million spots on your body. My cardiologist and endocrinologist both spent an hour or more talking to me about what was happening, what was needed, what needs to be done and what better be done – to get better yet. The doctor also gives you copies of all your medical records so that you can always have up to date information encase of emergencies. If you have x-rays done then you keep the copies of those x-rays. These are very strange mannerisms to me.But mannerisms that I definitely prefer…
In America they just do not like you looking at your own doctors records and even if you peek at them, there is no way possible that you would understand the mumble jumble that is written all over the pages. I was in the hospital in America with a heart attack and I happened to grab the folder at the end of the bed to see what everyone is saying about my condition. You would have thought that I committed a crime and got scolded by no less than 10 people from nurses up through the doctors… 🙁 (I thought that they were my records?)
As I have said before the doctors in Russia really do care about you and believe me it does not have anything to do with money because in Russia, a Russian doctor does not make very much money…
Hope your week is good because mine is great!
Windows to Russia!
- Emails and Coffee… (windowstorussia.com)
- Sveta Drinks Tea and I Drink Coffee… (windowstorussia.com)
- About Us! (windowstorussia.com)
- Russia and WikiLeaks… (windowstorussia.com)
- Thoughts from Russia with Coffee… (windowstorussia.com)