Swiss Doctor

Let me describe my prenatal doctor appointments in Switzerland. (This is not meant to be a commentary on quality of care in Europe, just a description of my experience.)

My first doctor appointment was on the fourth floor on a downtown building and it was at least 85 degrees in the office (humidity was 90% that day). No a/c is so stupid. The office was dark (it was too hot for lights anyway), slightly disorganized, musty, rusty and seemed to be about 100 years old. The equipment seemed to be about about 500 years old. I was glad Peter was with me, despite the fact that we were both sweating from the heat/humidity from the moment we walked in the door.

The front desk lady (there were no nurses) showed me to the bathroom where she gave me a dixie cup and a sharpie. She told me to write my name on the cup and “make a little pee pee in da cup”. No sanitary lid for the cup, no official sticker with my name and such, just a dixie cup.

Peter, the doc and I went into his exam room and went over a bit of my medical history. He told me to go across the room, weigh myself, and then yell out my weight to him. Peter then had to calculate the difference between kilos and pounds for him. It was very awkward.

Then the doctor told me to take off my pants and underwear and get on the table. He did not leave the room. After I undressed in front of an audience I had to walk bottomless with no little sheet or anything to the other side of the room (not a small room, it was a looooong walk) and lie down on his table, still with no sheet.

Lying half naked on his rickety old table he lifted my shirt to expose my belly. Then he took my blood pressure (not sure why this couldn’t be done with my pants on or my shirt down), he checked the heartbeat, and then did a quick internal exam. Then I walked half naked back across the room (another looooong walk) and got dressed, still with the doctor in the room.

After the exam, the front desk lady took me into a little kitchen that was apparently also a lab. I sat next to her coffee maker and she pricked my finger for a blood sample.

A few weeks later I had an ultrasound at a different office. This office was also very, very hot, but more up to date than the first office. There still weren’t any nurses. The doctor was nice and seemed thorough.

My second appointment with the doctor went exactly the same as the first. More undressing with an audience, another half-naked walk of shame, etc. Not sure why the doctor felt the need to do another internal exam, but he did.

It cost me $332.48 for the two doctor visits and $259.66 for the ultrasound.

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5 Responses to Swiss Doctor

  1. anna says:

    If it makes you feel any better, all of my prenatal pee-in-the cups after the first one were in a dixie cup with a Sharpie. Those they don’t send off.

    I think you should send them a bill of your own for the not-so-private show.

  2. mccallnewland says:

    I am dying.

  3. Amy says:

    Ha ha ha! I’m sorry to laugh, but this post seriously had me giggling out loud. A half naked walk of shame?! That is the worst thing I’ve ever heard! No sheet?! I have a tendency to cover with the sheet and then tuck just to be on the safe side. I can’t even imagine.

  4. Lara says:

    Wow. I have no other words to describe. Thank goodness you’ll be in the states for the delivery!!

  5. Emily says:

    ewww fer reals. i guess if everyone’s topless on the beach, why not be bottomless in the dr’s office.

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