Thursday, December 13, 2012

Pathology is through the Dentist's Office??

I had to go to the doctor yesterday.  Everything is fine but I caught a stomach bacteria/virus/whatever somewhere along the way and I was finally ready to be done with it.  I guess it's pretty common for people who move around overseas.  I have a fairly sensitive stomach as it is so it was no fun for a couple of days but it gives me a chance to talk about my first experience with an Australian doctor!

I found a private practice close to my hotel and they got me in right away.  Here is my overly exaggerated versions of America vs. Australia doctors and it actually describes the basic differences of each country as a whole.  Also, remember I'm currently in the heart of the biggest city so that probably makes a difference too.

In America, we go to a doctors office.  They say hello and welcome you.  You proceed to check in at the correct time of your appointment and wait in the waiting room for while.  You fill out forms and they take you back to your exam room.  You wait for a while longer. The nurse takes your height, weight, blood pressure, etc.  Then you wait a while longer. Then the doctor sees you and asks how you are and why you are there.  You walk down the hallway to a nice, private bathroom probably with a little door that goes to pathology so you just leave your sample and it magically goes away.  You come back and the doctor gives you your prescription but tells you they will just call it in to your local pharmacy of your choice.  You leave. The receptionist says goodbye and thanks.  You drive to pharmacy.

In Australia, I walked into the office and the lady stared at me.  I walked up and said I had an appointment.  She gave me a form.  As I was filling it out the doctor came out of her office and called me in to see her.  She asked what was wrong.  I tell her. She was very nice and prints out a prescription and tells me I need to go down the hallway and punch in this code to get into the bathroom.  I leave the office and ask if I need to pay right now. Receptionist continues to stare. "Of course you need to pay," she says. "But it's not ready yet."  I look for the bathroom and find that it is through the exit door towards the stairs.  I punch in the code.  It has two stalls but I'm glad that I'm the only one there at the moment.  I come out and find that the way to the nurse in pathology is through the dentists waiting area (they are a full service place).  I peek my head in and ask if I'm in the right place.  I am after all waving a paper bag for pathology.  "Yes, go down through the office and hand it to the nurse," she says.  Thanks. Very weird moment but I really don't think anybody else cared.  I head back to my doctors office and walk up ready to pay.  Receptionist still staring.  "I need to pay."   "Oh yes, here you go."
I walk across the street and get the prescription filled.

The point of my story is that in America I don't think we realize how much hand holding is done in everything we do.  Sometimes we don't like it and complain but seriously what do we have to complain about?  In Australia, they say, "How old are you?  Alright here's what you do.  Good luck."  People seem to manage in both scenarios but I kinda wish it was a little of both.

Random stuff alert!!!!!
Yes, they really do love their Vegemite.  Stay tuned for video of my first taste.

What's not to like about this?  "USA" style Christmas trees!  5ft. tree starts at $60.  But everything in Australia is more expensive so I'm thinking this actually isn't too bad.  I think the sun must be getting to me.

So, our "Burger King" is called "Hungry Jack's" here.  Everything is basically the same. They sell whoppers, they do everything "your way", they have Frozen Coke (woohoo!). Did a little research and apparently when Burger King wanted to move into Australia they found that the name was already taken by a burger place in Adelaide.  So, the owner of the Australian franchises, Jack Cowin, picked the name and it stuck.  Good ol' Jack and his family also own all KFC's and Domino's here in Australia so I'm thinking the guy is pretty loaded. 

Also, the gas price just looks scary, doesn't it?  Take into consideration that the price is per litre and probably at least 100 grade. I think this means that it would be the equivalent of $5.34/gallon but you would probably get better gas mileage.  Not quite sure about my math. Anyway, the next time you fill up and complain about the price think about the fact that the U.S. is actually one of the cheaper places in the world to buy it.  Everything is relative. Be happy. :)

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