Is there a dottore in the house?
I had occasion today to visit an Italian dottore or medico (physician). It’s the second time since we’ve been living in Rome that I’ve needed some minor medical attention. I’m a social worker and have worked in healthcare settings during the past 15 or so years of my career. Given my personal experiences as a patient and as an advocate for ill loved ones, and my professional experiences, I’m a bit familiar with the system in the States.
I’ve just got to say that I’m fascinated. The 2 times I’ve been to the doctor in Italy, I’ve not filled out one form. No health history. No demographic information required, except for when the receptionist completes the receipt for me to pay the bill. No notes taken by the doctor and presumably no chart. Maybe there’s something happening behind the scenes that I’m not aware of, but if there is, there’s no sign of it from where I sit as the patient.
I’m hopeful that this lack of apparent paperwork is not the norm for the Italian healthcare system. Knowing the bureaucracy that exists in so many areas of Italian life, I doubt that it is.
I’m establishing care with a local doctor. It will be interesting to see what happens in my follow up visit. I’ll keep you posted.