5 Things Needed for a Successful Medical/Dental Trip Abroad:

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    1. A good attitude

    Aside from good genes, good luck and good clinics that house good Doctors, possibly nothing will affect your outcome of treatment received overseas more than a good attitude.  Where the mind leads, the body often follows.  If you think pain, you will likely feel it.  If you believe things may go wrong; they very well may.  Life is life.  It is unpredictable.  It remains a mystery in many respects.  But one thing is sure: people who think positively tend to enjoy more positive outcomes than those who do not.  Does this mean you can have a “happy ending” by willing it to happen?  Usually, it does not.  It just means your chances are better.  How much better?  We will never know.  But that incremental difference often is enough to tip the scales in your favor for a favorable outcome.  So, lift your head high.  It’s a beautiful day…even if it’s raining.  Even if your flight is delayed or your luggage didn’t arrive; and even if the impressions your Dentist took three days ago, on which the results of all your dental work depends, met with some bizarre fate…don’t panic.  Act calm, cool and collected.  Don’t get angry or upset.  Shrug it off.  Laugh it off.  Everything will be okay.  You will be in Costa Rica, or Thailand, or Dubai; and you will be the envy of your friends.  In the end, all will be fine.  Think it.  Believe it.  Live it, and benefit from it.

    1. Enough money to live up to your standards, given your chosen destination

    While more and more people are traveling to places like Costa Rica, Singapore or Israel for hi-quality medical/dental care, many Patients who travel overseas for treatment are doing so just to save money.  That is fine.  It may be practical, economical, necessary and often just plain smart.  But for some people, the only option may be a country like Mexico, India or Hungary.  It is what it is, and will be what it will be.  Just know there is a fine line between saving money and placing yourself in a position where you are less comfortable [than you need to be] to ensure a successful medical or dental excursion.  For many people, being out of one’s “comfort zone” is not only uncomfortable, it can be downright UNPLEASANT; even worse, depressing.  Crime, unacceptable sanitary conditions, and seemingly bizarre local customs can take a toll on one’s psyche.  Each person has his/her own standards, rituals, routines, and daily doings which keep them grounded…at peace…comfy and cozy, and mentally stable…in sum, HAPPY. And there are no daily routines like eating and sleeping that can affect us more profoundly towards this aim and end.  So, if you are looking to skimp and save, skimp and save elsewhere.  You need a good night sleep and good nourishment to have your body at its best to heal its best, regardless of your Treatment Plan.  Those undergoing surgery should heed this advice to an even greater degree as it is THAT important. Also, remember while Mexican and Thai food can be quite tasty, spicy and hot dishes and medical and dental procedures are often not a good pairing.

    1. Realistic expectations

    Some people think that because they are going to the BEST clinic with the BEST Doctor/Dentist in a particular country that they will get the BEST results possible to mankind.  They often overlook a few basic things:  Their own G*d given or Nature given deficiencies, limitations, personal weaknesses, genetics, etc.  It is realistic to expect Doctors/Dentists/Clinics to deliver that which they say they can deliver.  It is not realistic to think that your new replacement teeth will be as good as your natural teeth when you were a child; or that your enhanced breasts will be as natural as your breasts after being filled with some chemical or compound filler.  Some things look better than they feel, and some things work better than they look, even if they don’t look perfect to you.  If you set your expectations too high you are likely to walk away an unhappy camper or an unsatisfied patient.  Rest assured if you are an eight out of ten before Treatment, you will likely be an eight out of ten after Treatment. Be grateful, most of us are sixes, at best (maybe all tens in G*d’s or Mother Nature’s eyes, but most of us do not have that good of vision either). The Doctors can make you look and feel better in many ways, but they cannot change who you are.  If your expectations are reasonable, your chances of having a successful medical/dental tourism experience are good to very good.

    1. Reliable and pertinent information

    There is nothing that can ruin a medical or dental trip like being unprepared, un-researched or uninformed.  Leaving your home country may be a GREAT idea, but only if you are prepared to do the basic research and planning; that means gaining insight on the country, its people, its language, its transportation system, etc.  But it’s not just about knowing where you are traveling to and what to expect when you arrive; but who you will be seeing there, and what is going to be done to you/your body.  Who is your Doctor?  How long has he/she been practicing their Specialty?  How long has their Clinic been in business?  How many procedures of the type you seek have they completed (successfully)?  You need to know the answers to these questions BEFORE you purchase an airline ticket!  If you are going to take the time to leave your country for medical/dental care, take the time to do your due diligence first.  Being informed will greatly increase your chances of having a satisfying medical/dental tourism experience.

    1. Flexibility

    The difference between a VERY satisfied Patient and a LESS THAN very satisfied Patient is often just a little bit of flexibility.  It is RARE that things go EXACTLY how you, I or our Doctors/Dentists would like, but usually, it’s pretty darned close.  Most times, everything in sum, including results is within an acceptable range.  But sometimes along the way, people get nervous and sometimes lose their trust in their chosen Doctor/Clinic.  THAT can send everything down the tubes pretty quickly.  If your Doctor says they will DEFINITELY see you at 10:00 am, and you find yourself in the waiting room still at 10:45 am…relax…be understanding, and be flexible.  If your Doctor says that he/she has an EMERGENCY and needs you to come back tomorrow…donot panic or freak out…be flexible…come back tomorrow.  And if you smile in the mirror and you are wondering why your temporaries look like they belong to someone else, maybe even a different species; or why your breasts are so big they may need their own zip code, breathe deeply, remain flexible and give your Doctor(s) a chance to work their magic.  Making sausage isn’t a very pleasant sight…either are most dental and surgical procedures.  Being flexible with your travel, your appointments, your care, and your treatment(s) will all better enable your Practitioners to help you achieve your desired final results.

    If you have comments or questions, please contact the author at [email protected] .

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