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I've looked on this site and Ning and can't find any details on where/how to get an annual physical exam. A couple of posts suggest that Hospital Chiriquí does a great one if you sign up for their insurance plan, but we already have insurance. Any idea about where to make an appointment? Cost?

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I did look at that list, but can't find a single reference for a general or internal medicine person at the hospital who speaks English. Many of the entries don't say anything about language skills.  I was hoping someone on this list had recently done a physical at the hospital and could recommend someone and give me some idea about price. 

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If you have insurance with MS Panama, formerly Hospital Chiriqui Ins. call and ask them....775-1068. You get a free exam once a year after your first 12 months... and teeth cleaning.

We had blood/urine lab work, EKG, Chest xray, consultation, and doctor exam to sign up for our insurance. Total cost for the both of us was $180 back in July.

In Boquete we use Dr Gomez... he speaks English and you just show up after 8 am, 6676-7132. He is at Dr Chen's clinic across from Melo.Another great doctor is Dr Liliana Boya she is on the list that the ADMIN posted above.

 

The list above is very thorough and most doctors listed there are respected.

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 Thanks for the pricing information. We don't have their insurance. Ours is Cigna and doesn't cover annual exams. But I will call their number and ask anyway. Perhaps they can refer me. I agree about Dr. Gomez. We've used him for several minor issues. Maybe he can just order all the tests we need and review the results with us? Or do you think it's better to find a doctor at the hospital?

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1 hour ago, LaurenLake said:

Sure, if we knew the name of a doctor there who had an English-speaking receptionist to set up an appointment. 

It doesn't require fluency in Spanish to ask for an appointment. I think you will find that at least a minimal knowledge of the Spanish language is necessary to live here with any measure of happiness. You might want to consider enrolling in a class or seeking out a tutor.

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2 hours ago, LaurenLake said:

I did look at that list, but can't find a single reference for a general or internal medicine person at the hospital who speaks English. Many of the entries don't say anything about language skills.  I was hoping someone on this list had recently done a physical at the hospital and could recommend someone and give me some idea about price. 

There are two doctors in Boquete, maybe more, who speak English, Dr. Digna Diaz and Dr. Gomez.  Dr. Diaz is an internest.  Call her on her cell phone, and you don't have to deal with a receptionist. 6615-6740

One of the scariest things when you first come here is using the phone.  It is rare to get an English speaking receptionist, so just prepare ahead of time what you want to say, and ask the person to speak slowly.

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I agree with JudyS, dealing with Spanish speakers over the phone is hard. My Spanish is good enough for chatting with someone on the street, but the minute you add unusual words like medical terminology, and remove my ability to use visual cues like pointing and demonstrating, things go downhill. I've been able to book appointments in person in Spanish, but doing so over the phone is a lot more difficult. And I love when you ask for "un poco más despacio" and you get "un poco más fuerte, pero muy rápido"

Thanks for the input everyone.  My takeaway is that you can get a full physical, with hospital tests if needed, by requesting it through one of the docs at the local clinics, and it's not necessary to find a doctor based out of Hospital Chiriqui. 

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The last time we were in to see Dr. Chen or Gomez, neither were available. There was another doctor (from Brazil) who took care of me and he spoke incredibly good English. I have no problem with going to Dr. Chen's office, and just accept whoever will see me. Our last visit was about 5 weeks ago. I cannot recall the new doctor's name.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I feel constrained to point out that almost all the evidence suggests that there is virtually no value to an "Annual Physical" unless you have chronic conditions, in which case having good ongoing medical care and episodic care for new symptoms is now recommended.  Of course, it's an individual decision.

I do want to second Judy's suggestions about making appointments by phone.  I used to write out exactly what I wanted, introduce myself, explain that my Spanish was not good and ask them to speak slowly.  You can write it out and use Google translate or use a phrasebook that would include phonetic pronunciations. "Muy buenos dias, me llamo xxxx...yo vivo en yyyy y no hablo Espanol muy bien.  Hablas Ingles?  No?  Entonce, Por favor, hable lentamente.  Necesito una cita para examen (medicamentos, laboratorios, rayos-X etc).  Quel dia es disponible? Y que hora?" Have a day (date)(s) and time(s) in mind to suggest.  Ask them to repeat if you don't understand what they've said, or by this point they may have decided to hand you off to anyone who speaks English! 

OTOH, if they are local and you can go and ask in person you will have the benefit of sign language, pointing, they may even notice that you are green or yellow or ghostly and need to be seen quickly. 

I can speak to Dr. Digna Diaz's qualifications.  She is Chiricano, but fully fluent in English, of course, well trained in internal medicine and with added qualification in aesthetic medicine.  She has several offices that she uses both in Boquete and in David.  I would recommend her without reservation (I'm a doc).  

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I recently needed the ''over 70'' letter from a doctor in order to renew my drivers license and Geovana www.askgeovana.weebly.com referred me to Dra Digna Diaz, who has an office next door to La Reina in downtown Boquete. I am soooo glad to know about her! Dra. Digna speaks perfect English and is pleasant, professional and helpful and will be my physician from now on. I can recommend her... as well as Geovana, who is my ''bridge'' to anything I need help with!

 

 

Edited by Franagain
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Thanks for the info, Fran. I guess I can get to Boquete in the same time as to David. I'd prefer to see her in David, though, because I always have other things to do in David. I will try her when I need something. I don't trust most doctors at all. I've never had one suggest anything but drugs for any malady. Of course most know nothing about nutrition or alternative medicine. And I doubt they ever do any research after graduating as a "doctor."  They prescribe what the drug reps tell them to prescribe. Before taking ANY drug, I suggest doing research about it on the internet. There are a lot of deaths caused by prescription drugs.

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I saw a Dra. Diaz at the clinic across from Mike's Grill a couple of months ago for my over-70 checkup. She is here only on either Tuesday or Thursday. Can there possibly be two Dras. Diaz, both of whom are internists qualified to give the over-70 test? It seems unlikely. Maybe she's moved.

I did notice that the medical office next to La Reina appears to have been rehabilitated (Dr. Sue and Dr. Moo). The medical community is figuring out that there's money to be made in Boquete, with all us old folks living here.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Dra Digna Virginia Diaz
6615-6740
Office locations: next to La Reina's and across from Mike's Global Grill
Days in Boquete: Tuesday's, Thursday's and Saturdays
She also does home visits
 
My husband and I went to see her yesterday at 4:00 and she was there and on time. She was very thorough, professional and nice.  We both really liked her.  She reviewed ALL our medical records (lab tests) back to 2003!  She did a physical exam and talked to us for quite a while.  We did not get out of her office until 5:30.
She speaks perfect English and lives in Alto Dorado.  
Her fee is $44, but well worth not driving to David.
She and other local doctors have organized an after- hour emergency network.  
The number is 6619-7911
She is our new Dra.
Edited by Carol
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