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Getting Around

At the Doctor

Nobody plans on being sick while traveling. To be sick in a foreign country is scary because you may not know what to do, where to go or how much will it cost.



Relax. If you are used to the medical system in the United States, you will love to be assisted by doctors that really spend time with you, and drugs in Latin America, although cheaper, are as good as any.



Remember to bring your prescriptions when traveling and write down the drug generic name and active ingredients. You will be able to buy a refill since the drug market is not as regulated as in the USA and almost every drug can be obtained over the counter or at pharmacies (farmacias o droguerías).


     If you go back to the USA keep your prescriptions since you will need them to demonstrate that the drugs you bought were required by a physician. 


     Most hotels will have a list of local doctors that speak English. Not a lot of clinics or hospitals accept medical insurance, but most of the times a visit to the doctor would cost you around $60 and your medical insurance provider may reimburse those expenses once your trip is finalized.


     Here is a list of the most common symptoms that you may have and what you may need to say.




I have a head ache Me duele la cabeza
I have a teeth, molar pain Me duele el diente, la muela
I have a bone pain Me duelen los huesos
I have a muscular pain Me duelen los músculos
I have a leg pain Me duelen las piernas
I have a stomach pain Me duele el estómago
My hands hurt Me duelen las manos
My ear hurts Me duele el oído
My throat hurts Me duele la garganta


How do you feel?

I feel sick Me siento enfermo
I feel dizzy Me siento mareado
I feel exhausted Me siento agotado
I feel tired Me siento cansado
I feel sad  Me siento triste / deprimido
I feel bad Me siento mal


What happens?

It hurts me / Me duele I can´t breath / No puedo respirar
It burns me / Me arde I can't sleep / No puedo dormir
It stings me / Me pica I cant eat / No puedo comer
It hurts me / Me lastima I can´t walk / No puedo caminar
It cuts me / Me corta I can´t see / No puedo ver


Provide more information...

I am allergic to ... / Soy alérgico a ...
I am diabetic / Soy diabético
I smoke / yo fumo


What kind of doctor could I see?

Allergist Alergólogo (a)
Cardiologist Cardiólogo (a)
Dentist Dentista (a)
Endocrinologist Endocrinólogo (a)
Nurse Enfermero (a)
Gynecologist Ginecólogo (a)
Doctor Médico (a) General
Ophthalmologist Oftalmólogo (a)
Orthopedist Ortopedista (a)
Otolaryngologist Otorrinolaringólogo (a)
Pediatrician Pediatra (a)
Urologist Urólogo (a)



Note of Advise!


     As in any place, don't assume that credit cards are accepted, present your medical insurance card. If a medical analysis needs to be done, some labs offer discounts and packages. Ask to the doctor for a referral and to the lab or clinic for an estimate in advance.

     Keep all your receipts and submit them to your medical insurance company for a possible reimbursement.







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Verb Conjugations







At the restaurant


Useful vocabulary and tips
for a good and safe meal.


At the hotel

Common words and phrases for a good rest.




Understanding and enjoying the shopping experience.