Saturday, May 23, 2015

Korean Hospitals

So tonight/this morning I would like to explain how easy and simple life is, in a Korean hospital.  Now I am used to military hospitals so civilian hospitals in the states could be very similar but for me, this is worth sharing. 
I have been to two different Korean hospitals and they both seemed to be on the same level of efficiency, and although both International Clinics were awesome, Severance Hospital had the better hospitality the entire time, whereas Seoul National University, Bundang Hospital had very little bed side manner.  Which I should add that Koreans are not trained on bed side manner but to find the problem and fix it.  Your pain, injuries, and discomforts are all that matters.  You don't have to like your doctor or your nurses because they are there to fix you.  This post will be talking about Bundang Hospital as I have had more tests and dealt with more people there than at Severance.

Now, to get to Bundang we had to take an hour subway ride which also included two transfers and about a $7.00 round trip cab fare to get to and from the subway and hospital.   We finally arrived and realized we were about 30 minutes early.  As I walked into the International clinic Jonah, the lady behind the counter, immediately called me by name and welcomed us to the center.  After getting us checked in we took a seat, she called down to the dr. and they sent us on our way.  Collin assured her that if she just wrote down the name of the clinic we could find it, and we didn't need escorted.  Sure enough we found our way back down to the 1st floor and to the correct clinic with no problem. 

Once we entered the Podiatry office we were seen immediately  no waiting or anything.  There was a dr. who sat in the main chair with the computer and once I was seated another dr. entered and it was clear this was an English speaking doc.  He asked me where it hurt, I showed him and and he quickly applied pressure and watched me squirm.  After about 3 hard pushes and seeing me squirm in pain he diagnosed me by saying that I had, what he believed to be, a benign tumor in my foot (he called it something more interesting but I can't remember his medical terms he used).  He did that just by pushing on the pain 3 times?  The doctors at 121 (our military hospital) had sent me to 3 different appointments, took x-rays and still couldn't find ANYTHING wrong with me.   This doc was already scoring points.

We were given instructions to continue on with some x-rays and a sonogram and return in one week!  They didn't send us back to the international clinic but sent us to the payment center first, which my insurance had me covered.  However just an FYI, a doctors visit, x-rays and a sonogram at Bundang costs about $400.00.  Once getting the whole insurance thing straightened out we headed to X-ray.  Again no bed side manner but they were very efficient and I honestly think my instructions on how to stand and lay took longer than anything else.  I was in and out before Collin could play 1 game of Candy Crush!  The sonogram obviously took a bit longer as there were lots of pictures involved, but I got seen by the doctor, two trips to the international clinic, insurance stuff, x-rays and a sonogram in 1 hour!  I don't know how fast your hospital is but I was amazed! 

Now this past Friday I went back to the hospital for my results.  I was seen at my exact scheduled time and after talking to the doctor he concluded that he was going to have me wait 6 months and then be evaluated again.  This did not work for me as I had already spend 7 months of being told, we don't know what is wrong so if it continues to hurt come back in.  Although this doctor did correctly diagnose me with those three painful squeezes of being a benign tumor, I was not please with the waiting of 6 months.  I explained to him that I was in a lot of pain at times and he seemed to not care and told me I could probably deal with it.  We talked to Jonah in the international clinic and she walked down with us and basically translated the following. 
This has been an on going issue for 7 months and she wants the pain to be gone.  She does not want to wait for 6 more months and would like you to fix the issue. 

Next thing I know they are setting me up for the removal of my pain.  Now within the next 25 minutes I was set up for surgery, had 5 tubes of blood drawn, had an EKG, then changed and getting more x-rays by the time I was done changing and walking out of the hospital I had to stop and ask Collin if all that really just happened in under 30 minutes.  It was amazing!!!  I still can't believe the efficiency of how these Korean Hospitals work.

This will be a simple outpatient removal and hopefully will remove all foot pain that I have been having.  Pain that our hospital couldn't figure out and pain that everyone who knows medical stuff tried to diagnose on their own. 

Now I just pray that Tri Care will work as efficient as the hospital did and get my final approval for the surgery.  Collin and I will be down in the Tri Care office jumping on tables and begin nagging them until we get answers!  They have 1 week to get everything approved or I miss my surgery date! 

Anyway I hope the efficiency was something that amazed you as much as it did us :)  Have a great weekend... and Happy Memorial day!  Please remember why we celebrate Memorial Day and that it isn't just about the bbq's and gathering of friends and family!

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