Being a lady, I require a yearly visit to the lady doctor to get myself checked out. Last year in Korea this totally skipped my mind, but I knew I was overdue and would have to book myself an appointment while still living in South Korea. I had of course done a little research online and freaked myself out at some horror stories of being asked personal health questions the lobby in front of other people and a huge language barrier. I managed to find a couple of English speaking gynecologists and hospitals in Seoul that would be close but booking an appointment seemed to be nearly impossible since I would need to find a hospital that spoke English and was open on Saturdays. After a couple of hours of trying I was finally successful with booking an appointment via email with the Cheil General Hospital and Women’s Healthcare Center in Seoul. I had tried calling into this hospital but the person who answered the phone spoke no English so I would recommend sending in an email for inquiries and appointments, whoever responds to the emails is an English speaker. I originally sent in my email for an appointment request via the Anglo INFO website.
I was asked to send a picture of my ARC card, my address and answer a few questions. Within a day I had my appointment booked for early on a Saturday morning. Finding the hospital buildings wasn’t very hard as the hospital’s website provides a map that is pretty easy to follow. The main difficulty I faced was finding the Ambulatory Center I was directed to find from the email confirmation as the building is labeled in English on the map and only in Korean in person. There are however many people walking around the hospital building that you can ask for help so it shouldn’t be too difficult to find where you need to go.
Once inside the hospital I was registered as a patient, sent upstairs to the gynecology department where I answered some health questions and had my blood pressure monitored (in a small private room) and then waited for my appointment with the gynecologist. They had a flat screen in the waiting room that had the different doctors names listed and which patients were waiting for them so you could see where you were in the line.
Once it was my turn to see the doctor she asked me my reason for the visit and when I told her for my yearly Pap screening she immediately took me next door for the awkward part of the exam. I’ll spare you the details, suffice it to say it was about as awkward as a visit to the gynecologist would be back home, no more, no less. The only main difference I noticed was that they used an ultrasound to check out everything in addition to the regular swab check. So, I got to see my cervix which was interesting.
After about 5 minutes of awkwardness I briefly spoke with the doctor who said everything looked normal and that it would take 7-10 days to get back the results of the exam, which I would get through text. The text I was told would come through in Korean so I would need a Korean speaker to translate. Thank goodness my Mom is Korean!
Overall I would recommend this hospital to a girl friend. I think most of the staff I had contact with spoke enough English to be very helpful and everyone was super kind and professional. It’s not something you really want to think about doing, especially when you’re in another country with a language barrier but I do feel like a weight has been lifted off of my shoulders and I know that all is good down there, which at the end of the day is what is most important.