It hasn’t taken me too long to realize that things are done a little differently in Armenia, so I’m not sure why I was surprised when my visit to the doctor was so foreign an experience. Luckily my brother had warned me that there are no appointments or checking in; you basically walk into the waiting room and ask the crowd of people who the last person is. Then you sit and wait for that person to walk out, and then you know it’s your turn. Even despite being pre-warned, it was a little nerve wracking since you have to be alert the whole time.
But I have to say, though this initial process threw me off a bit, I soon learned why not having an appointment might actually be more beneficial to the patient. Actually, the doctor himself told me his logic after I inquired about it. He explained that people usually come to see the doctor out of fear, whether it’s a great or small fear of whatever their condition. He continued that if a patient comes to him with a fear, he wants to be able to calm and solve those fears and would feel bad if he were on a time clock and had to kick his patient out at a certain time because his next appointment is waiting. He went on, some cases need little time, while other cases need an hour, and he likes to give each patient the attention he/she deserves without feeling rushed. Makes sense. He said they’ve tried every method — lists, appointments, etc. — and this method has proved the best. Though it’s annoying for those waiting, when it comes your turn, it feels amazing to not be rushed.
Another benefit to seeing the doctor in Armenia is that it’s extremely cheap. My visit was 10,000 dram, which equals to about $20. No Obamacare needed. I think I’ll go see just about every kind of doctor while I’m here!