This is the second post in our three-part “Meet Our Doctors” series.
Looking after travellers is an integral part of practicing travel medicine. Travel medicine physicians are in a unique position to provide the best care for travellers, particularly at a primary care level.
— Dr. Sonny Lau (Melbourne, Australia)
Understanding of local health conditions
Most of our doctors treat local people in their own countries, with IAMAT members making up a small proportion of their patients. They are deeply knowledgeable about local illnesses and how to navigate the health system. Most IAMAT doctors are general practitioners or internal medicine specialists, although some have completed additional training and specialize in areas such as travel medicine.
Take Dr. Ngoe Anthony Nesoah in Ngaoundéré, Cameroon, for example. Apart from caring for travellers, one of Dr. Nesoah’s specialties is treating noma, an orofacial gangrene that mainly occurs in young children. Noma is a disease of poverty, caused by a combination of malnutrition, a compromised immune system, and intraoral infections.
IAMAT doctors told us they’re motivated to stay up to date with clinical best practices and research. They find that one of the most interesting things about seeing travellers is the opportunity to treat a variety of health concerns which they may not see often in their day to day practice.
Dr. Jean-Marie Hospied in Vientiane, Laos told us:
I enjoy meeting people from a variety of cultures and seeing differences in health concerns and pathology presentations.
Peace of mind abroad
Providing peace of mind for travellers is a priority for our doctors.
Many doctors say that they joined IAMAT to take the anxiety out of falling ill abroad and to help make a traveller’s recovery as quick and comfortable as possible. Dr. Evie Indrasanti in Java, Indonesia emphasized that being able to confidently care for travellers goes a long way toward easing the stress of falling ill abroad.
In medical services, we have to establish a good relationship between patients and medical staff members, including doctors. Language plays a crucial part in building up a mutual trust between us. In other words, good communication is a solid basis for good medical services. I always remind myself that I should be an effective communicator.
— Dr. Kazuo Sakabe (Kyoto, Japan)
International travellers who sought assistance at our centre said many good words to us. I’m glad to hear that they have recovered.
— Dr. Xue Shouyin (Yantai, China)
IAMAT doctors truly provide both a local and international perspective on health. We’re thankful to have so many dedicated physicians and mental health practitioners ready to help travellers.
Tell us, have you ever visited an IAMAT doctor?
By Daphne Hendsbee.