Travel Medicine

Our first advice to international travelers is that they have a complete physical and dental exam before they travel. If possible, have this done by a travel medicine specialist.

Next, check your health insurance. Many insurance companies will not cover you abroad so you may need to buy special insurance. This is often available through your travel agent or Travel Medicine Clinic. Even with insurance, if you should need care overseas the providers will not be prepared to process your insurance claim. They will expect cash at the time of service.

If you take prescription medications, take along enough for the whole trip. Also take a note from your doctor (on his/her letterhead) explaining your need for them, and extra prescriptions written in generic terms. Likewise, take an extra pair of glasses or contact lenses and the prescription for them. Such notes and prescriptions are also available through our office.

Always keep up to date on routine immunizations. These include tetanus, diphtheria, mumps, measles, rubella and polio. Many people add pneumonia and flu vaccine to the list There's a new hepatitis A vaccine most think is a good idea for everyone to have as well.

As for special immunizations and medications you will need for your trip, current recommendations are as follows.....Cholera shots are of such limited benefit that they are recommended only for people with major stomach problems (e.g have had stomach surgery or are on large doses of anti-acid medication) or who will be far from medical care for months at a time. Recommendations change frequently, however, so again we advise direct consultation with a travel medicine specialist.