Help: I Need a Doctor on Vacation

I was a long, long way from my New Jersey home on my honeymoon in Cape Town, South Africa when I came down with debilitating nausea, fever, and stomach cramping. After trying to wait it out, I decided that I had lost enough of my vacation and took the strong antibiotic ciprofloxacin that I had gotten at a travel clinic ahead of our trip.

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Your smart phone is all you need to find trusted care away from home.

It worked almost immediately, which was I was grateful for because probably the only place in Cape Town I didn’t want to explore was the emergency room. What would have awaited me there had the pill not worked?

When I need medical help at home, I know exactly who to ask and what resources to turn to. But what do you do when you’re far from your trusted healthcare network and in need of treatment?

If you’re abroad, you may have luck finding a list of doctors or clinics in the area on the State Department website (that is, if you have internet access). However, it’s important to note that the U.S. government has not ascertained the quality of these physicians or facilities and does not recommend them, but merely offers them as options.

If you’re on vacation in the United States on the other hand, all you need to find a trusted doctor where you are is your smart phone and the Vitals mobile app. By entering the specialist you desire, or the condition you need treated, the Vitals app will automatically detect your location and offer a personalized list of the best-rated doctors nearby. You may then filter the list according to your preferences, like insurance or physician gender, or read through patient reviews to choose a doctor you think is the best fit.

How did you find care for a health emergency away from home? Tell us in the comments section below.