Finding THE Doctor


Major influential factors in choosing a doctor include :

  1. Location of his/her office
  2. Cost of a visit with him/her
  3. Reputation of the doctor
  4. Amount of time you have
    • Based on how sick you are
    • Based on how badly you want to see that doctor

Respective suggestions based on what your priority(ies) is(are):

  1. Ask your local pharmacist for a good one in the neighborhood, or take a risk and look at Google Maps: generalist 75018, dermatologist 75006, gynecologist 75013…
  2. Fees range based on the type of doctor you see:
  • A generalist won’t charge an outrageous amount, typically between 20-30 euros, of which the majority is reimbursed if you have a Carte Vitale (social security) and a mutuelle (complimentary private insurance you purchase or work pays for). Most doctors and hospitals are “conventionné” with Social Secturity – that is, they have an agreement. This should mean that fees are charged based on a standard rate.
  • Some private clinics are not conventionné, and even some mutuelles don’t cover all their fees.
  • A specialist is typically more expensive, but it’s up to you, their reputation, and how much you’re willing to shell out. If you need to see a specialist, you will first need to visit your local generalist who will write you a referral. You will need to go through this process if you hope to get money back from social security.

3.  Refer to number 1, and read the reviews on the google map if there are any. But also ask friends, colleagues, peers for their recommendations.

4.  Timing is everything:

    • ASAP (but not an emergency): When Brenna first arrived back in Paris, she came down with a cruel case of strep throat. Not familiar with her neighborhood and in desperate need of antibiotics asap, she dragged her fever-ridden body to the closest “medecin generale” that appeared on google maps during their open hours (VERY IMPORTANT) and made her case – not before she looked up strep throat in French (because mal à la gorge wasn’t going to cut it). Streptocoque for the latin lovers, Angine if you don’t want to sound pretentious.
    • Willing to wait: Generally, appointments are made by phone. A generalist can be made 1-3 days in advance, but for a specialist up to 1-2 weeks. Brenna likes her doctor so much, she takes an appointment one month in advance. Special procedures might require an even greater wait.

About Author


I've lived in France since August 2006 with a stint back in Washington, DC for a year. Ten months of my time in France were spent in Rouen - the Normandy town known for, among other things, Joan of Arc's death and Monet's study of light. With the years that pass, Paris is constantly transformed by the interesting people I meet who open up new doors in this amazing city.

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