Medical Preparation for International Travel
As an Infectious Disease physician and international traveler myself, I have seen poor planning ruin what should have been a positive, life-changing experience when people venture out to new cultures and destinations. Many travelers do not seek medical pre-travel advice out of concern for cost or because they don’t think they need it, but I find that even seasoned travelers often have much to learn about their own health and safety while traveling abroad. My course was designed to distill the content typically presented in a travel health clinic into a series of accessible talks covering all of the most common topics that arise in preparing for a trip outside your home country. For a fraction the cost of a typical travel medicine clinic visit in the US (these run around $150 USD), you can access much of the same information and have it available to you for reference during and after your trip.
You don’t need a medical background to understand the information, but my goal is that, even if you do have a medical background, you can still glean something from my course. This is a course by a traveler, for other travelers, presented in the same plain-language perspective I would use with my own patients who come to see me prior to traveling abroad. I can’t prescribe vaccines or preventative medications for you, but I do offer resources on how to determine which ones you might need and where to find them. (If you live in the US, now is as good a time as any to inform you that your insurance will NOT pay for pre-travel vaccines and medications, and these are not included in the $150 charge I cited above.) This course goes well beyond which shots to get and which pills to take, however, and offers a fairly comprehensive overview of health issues that are likely to arise when leaving your home country.
As an initial disclaimer, my advice here should not be taken as a substitute for the advice of your personal physician(s) because, well…I don’t know you personally! My goal is to increase awareness of medical issues that arise with international travel and make pre-travel advice more accessible so you can have an informed conversation with your healthcare providers in preparing for your trip.