You’re about to move abroad. Congratulations! Maybe you’re leaving on a short-term vacation or beginning an exciting study abroad program. Either way, before any travel gets underway, there are a few medical preparations to make. Whether you will need a run-of-the-mill checkup or more specialized doctor visits before you go will depend on a few factors. Going to the doctor’s office before you leave the country for the foreseeable future is essential, especially if you’re going to live in a country that doesn’t have advanced medical care. This article will give you some of the checkups that you may need to do before you leave the country.
A General Checkup
Get a physical before you leave the country. At the time of the checkup, take this time to ask your primary care physician any questions you may have. Your doctor should catch any problems and talk to you about taking care of the issue before you leave. Doing this will ensure that you won’t run into any trouble when you’re far from home.
A Dental Checkup
You should also get a dental cleaning and checkup before you head off overseas. Getting checked out by a dentist now can prevent catastrophic emergencies such as a broken crown from ruining your expat experience. Your dentist can also advise you on any health concerns relating to your tongue, jaw, gums, or mouth, which can cause other unforeseen health problems down the road. If you don’t already have your wisdom teeth out, ask your dentist to check on those as well. Addressing these questions with your dentist before you leave will be more convenient than trying to find a dentist or seek treatment in an unfamiliar country and will prevent you from having to deal with a dental emergency overseas.
Depending on your soon-to-be home, you might need to get a vaccination before you leave the United States. To get these vaccinations, you will have to go to a location that administers them. You can find this information on the website of the US State Department or your home state’s US State Department location.
Checkups With a Specialist
If you suffer from a chronic health problem, you should see the necessary specialist before you head off overseas. You will want to make sure that you can manage your issues while abroad, get any needed medication, or even get a much-needed procedure performed.
For example, if you have a herniated disc, seeing an orthopedic specialist can help you in some ways. You can get ideas on how to manage your injury while backpacking. You can also get advice on activities to avoid to eliminate stress in the affected area. This last visit might seem like a pain, but the information you could receive could be worth its weight in gold once you’re in the thick of your new expat life.
While you’re rushing around town seeing all these doctors, take the time to figure out your health insurance situation. You never know what could happen, and you’ll be happy you have this protection if an emergency occurs.
Now that your medical preparations are complete, make sure that your visa application is in order.