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Disclaimer: I am not a certified health professional and do not claim to provide any medical advice. This is simply a story about what happened to me personally while visiting a doctor in Thailand.
I suppose it was just a matter of time. I’d say I’m a pretty careful person when I travel. I take precautions, do my research, and get my necessary vaccines. I don’t even like going to the doctor in the states, so having to go to one in a place where I don’t speak the language is something I’d prefer to avoid. So, you can imagine how excited I was when I found myself looking for a doctor after living in Chiang Mai for only 2 weeks.
Now you might be thinking that this doctor’s visit comes with a cool scar and great travel story. Well, I’m sorry to disappoint but it wasn’t a broken leg from a motorbike accident or a fractured hand while practicing Muay Thai that brought me to CM Mediclinic. Instead, I had a reaction to medication I was prescribed back in the states that got bad enough for me to realize I needed to see a doctor. So, yeah, this probably won’t be the travel story I tell first when meeting people/visiting back home.
I knew that the hospital here (Bangkok Hospital) was reputable since I had read about it on multiple blogs over time, however I didn’t really want to go straight to a hospital if I could just find a normal doctor. I honestly just started Googling and ended up on a few expat forums and Google reviews of doctors nearby. Both seemed to mention the CM Mediclinic and specifically mention that the doctors and staff there spoke great English and were well accredited. I was sold since I needed to make an appoint soon and needed something nearby.
Since I was in a lot of pain, I was not in the mood for a Thai taxi adventure and instead got a Grab – SEA “Uber/Lyft” – to be the first one there when the clinic opened. (If you want to sign up for Grab in Thailand you can use our code: GRAB1MTBWXM9 and we both get 100 Baht off of 5 rides [Aug. 2018]). I also was able to book my appointment online which was a pleasant surprise.
I headed there right away. CM Mediclinic is tucked back in a neighborhood with very narrow streets that seem to endlessly twist and turn. It’s for this reason I recommend a Grab so that you and the driver both have the GPS to guide you.
The driver dropped me off in front of the clinic and I immediately felt confident in my decision. I was greeted outside by an animated sign that I can only assume listed all of the services they provide. The patient on the sign seemed calm so I figured I should be the same, so I walked in already feeling a sense of relief.
There was also a place to remove your shoes and leave them outside. I actually walked up to the desk barefoot, not realizing that they had shoes for visitors to wear right next to the door. I was promptly informed that there were shoes by the door and that I could find the biggest sizes on the bottom. As with many things clothing related in SEA, my sandals were a bit of a tight fit. They definitely weren’t Cinderella’s glass slipper, but they got the job done.
CM Mediclinic seems to have plenty of experience providing care for travelers and expats. About 2 minutes after I walked in, four travelers who had just arrived in Chiang Mai were there because two of them had not gotten all of their vaccinations before leaving the states
(Related: Vaccines Needed for Thailand).
I filled out my forms (bring your Passport for your ID!), and waited. It only took about 10 minutes before Dr. Hawkins called me into her office/exam room. I sat down in a chair next to her desk and explained my issue. After a round of questions and a brief exam, we were done. At the end of my visit, I was given 2 medications and told to come back in 2 weeks for my follow up. Dr. Hawkins patiently answered all my questions about the medication and I went to the front desk to pay. She spoke excellent English and I felt very comfortable and confident that she understood my needs.
The facilities were very clean and Dr. Hawkins was great – she’s even answered a few of my lingering questions over email!
Which brings us to the question that probably brought you here: how much did it cost? I was told prior to my visit to expect to pay between 400 – 600 baht ($12 – $18 USD). The cost for CM Mediclinic was:
Consultation with the doctor: 600 baht ($18 USD)
Medication 1 (30 Day Supply): 300 baht ($9 USD)
Medication 2 (30 Day Supply): 130 baht ($4 USD)
When thinking about the fortune I would have to pay in the US to see go to a private medical clinic and receive 2 name brand prescriptions without insurance, CM Mediclinic seems more than fair. (I actually do have travel insurance through World Nomads which is our preferred travel insurance provider. I will update this post about the outcome of filing this claim with them if covered)
When traveling or living abroad, it’s important to have peace of mind when it comes to medical stuff. I obviously hope you can avoid getting sick all together, but if you find yourself needing to see a Doctor or get a vaccine while in Chiang Mai, I can highly recommend CM Mediclinic!
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