Address Health Issues BEFORE Traveling Abroad

I’ve said it before in my blogs and vlogs, but I am going to say it again. If you are planning to teach English abroad (or traveling to another country for an extended period for any other reason), please take my advice – address your health concerns BEFORE you leave your home country.

In my case, I scheduled appointments with my doctors for check ups and prescription refills, optometrist for new eye exam and ample supply of disposable contact lenses, and the dentist for a permanent crown and a cleaning.

My dentist appointment proved critical as he identified a crack in one of my other teeth that I hadn’t realized was there. The very next day, a bad infection set in causing me excruciating pain. As he had already identified the crack, he knew exactly what was going on when I went back. He already had the x-rays and was able to immediately remove some of the infection, put me on antibiotics and steroids, and schedule treatment for the cracked tooth. Had I not seen him prior to travel and the infection not presented until I arrived in Vietnam, that issue could have been costly and the care provided less than optimal.

Besides the issues of quality of care and insurance implications, it just makes good sense to get everything checked out before you leave your home country. Since it can take time to get appointments scheduled, and they often require follow up appointments, I recommend you start the process at least two or three months before your departure date. Don’t forget to ask for a 90-day supply on your prescriptions; most doctors will accommodate if you explain your situation.

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