Parallelogram: Doctor Who What Where and When

\One experience explored from two points-of-view\



What kind of healthcare is available in Mayaguez?

All medical care is private. But after much ado, headaches, and finagling, we bought health insurance!! It covers every doctor on the island. It’s also awesome because it covers dentists. However…

We have heard that the wait times at doctor’s offices are like 3-4+ hours.  Even WITH an appointment! So, plan on spending your whole day there.  The Puerto Ricans I have met simply don’t go to the doctor until they absolutely have to. I’ve heard it’s easier to get pets into their vet than humans to their docs.

My new years resolution is to collect doctor’s names, a list of emergency clinics just in case, and emergency numbers.


Who would I see if bonked on the head by a coconut??


My neighbors know of a pediatrician that will call you about a half hour before you’re likely to get seen so you don’t have to wait all day at the clinic! Sign me up! Trevor’s cousin knows of a few Marquette University trained dentists which would be nice to go to, but they aren’t too close to us.

Along the same lines, let’s talk about 911.  Yeah we have it here! Great I thought! But I have recently been informed that you should skip calling 911 and just call one of the private ambulance companies to get the job done faster if you need to get to a hospital. Hrm. They know the city better and 911 just calls them anyway after talking to you a while. Okay…more emergency numbers to obtain.  But then I sit and think, “In an emergency, would I reach someone that could understand my panicked English?”

And how many times can I use the goodwill of my ER doctor neighbor before she hates us?

So far the only health related person we have set up is a massage therapist–haha




What kind of healthcare is available in Montreal?
Health care in Canada is delivered through a publicly funded health care system, which is mostly free at the point of use and has most services provided by private entities. – Wikipedia


Growing pains.  That’s what all these posts are about really.  I had an ex-pat moment the other day sliding down the street (THEY DON’T PLOW THE ROADS HERE!!!  They mostly do.) during a blizzard while getting lost (WHY WON’T MY GPS UNDERSTAND FRENCH?!?!  It mostly does.) and ended up tearfully, over-dramatically lamenting all that continues to be unfamiliar.  I got over it, somehow realizing that in another six months I’ll be closer to fine, but meanwhile I’ve got real problems with real pains:

What happens if we get sick?

We now have our public health cards so we’re supposed to go to a walk-in clinic.  We cannot see a doctor directly because the waiting list for new patients is anywhere from one to three years, depending on who you talk to.  I have heard terrible stories about the clinics, most recently one of Kris’s colleagues had an eye problem.  She went to the clinic around 8pm, got into a room at 11:30pm, saw a doctor at 4am only to be told the ophthalmologist wouldn’t be on call until 9:00am.  I am terrified of the healthcare system here and that doesn’t feel good.  It kind of makes me sick.


We are on that waiting list but I’ve heard that you can forget about that and simply keep your ear to the ground for docs opening up appointments.  Randomly.  Via friend-of-a-friend in the know.  Gossip.  I subscribe to a widespread e-mail list for this purpose and have followed up on every lead presented.  This is what happened most recently:

Called clinic with rumored pediatrician taking new patients.  Was told to call back Friday morning when the doctor would release her schedule.

Called Friday.  No schedule.

 Called following Friday.  No schedule.

 Called third Friday.  No schedule.

 Called last Friday and was told doctor now pregnant and not accepting new patients.


I posted this update back to the e-mail group should anyone else be in the same position and I must have built up quite a panicky history because the THE MOST AMAZING THING HAPPENED:

A doctor, a mother of two, wrote me directly, saying

“I work at St-Mary’s Family Med and started as a staff physician a few months ago so I have some openings and could take you and your family as new patients if you would like.”

This is what will happen when I meet this woman, and I know I will meet her because I have no other options how could I refuse?


Squeaky, nervous, ex-pat mother wheels are the NOISIEST (They mostly work.).

Meanwhile, in a parallel universe, my high school boyfriend is looking for patients.

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4 Responses to Parallelogram: Doctor Who What Where and When

  1. Pingback: Parallelogram: Doctor Who What Where and When | | Black Panty Salvation

  2. Heather says:

    Sorry about your medical care frustration–that would be scary. But I am happy you found a doctor!! And what a HOOT to see Steve. He looks the same and I can imagine him being a terrific doctor.

    • Lisa Bagchi says:

      Well we haven’t connected yet but I’ve got her e-mail to pursue … uh … remind her. Randy posted that on FB. Fame comes to SHS ’88!

  3. Stacy g says:

    Hi! We are coming to PR this year. I would love to exchange emails with you about the health care system. I would like info about what insurance or coverage you all got. Would you email me, please? TIA!

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