A New Yorker in Costa Rica: My First Impressions of Health Clinics!

When I decided to come to Costa Rica I was prepared to experience a new culture. My preconception was that Costa Rica would be behind my comforts in many ways, however, I quickly realized it was me who was behind.

Salsa dancing? Speaking Spanish? Eating organic every day? Health clinics where the patient comes first? Where do I begin.  The dancing well that was forced upon me by my host mom as she literally asked a girl to dance with me at a social (talk about wingman).  A new language, have you ever met someone that does not want to learn a new language? Fresh affordable seasonal fruits and vegetables, I mean is it really worth triple the price to buy a mango in the fall in the US? BUT let’s be honest I didn’t come here for those three bonuses; I came here to help HuliHealth take off our training wheels.

As the skeptic I am, one thing I was concerned about was the true dental travel patient experience in our dental clinics. I had serious dental trauma in the past (two teeth broken in half through my front lip). I know firsthand that there is nothing worse than spending hours finding a Doctor online to finally arrive at the dentist office only to be treated as a number.  You suck it up because you believe in the quality of US Healthcare, one standard that I will NEVER be able to give up NOR should I. But just like the dancing, the language, and the fresh produce, the clinics I visited either met or exceeded my expectations. BOY was I surprised! Walking into some of these clinics I felt that I was in a top clinic in New York or at the very least a clinic I was extremely comfortable with. I was greeted with a smile and words of English once the staff realized I was a “gringo”.

I visited 12 offices from private practices to the JCI accredited CIMA Hospital, these clinics were all pristine with top notch equipment, comforting staff, and some of the clinics actually had exquisite views of the mountains/rainforests (beats the concrete jungle I’m used to).  I observed how the staff and doctors interacted with their patients and my anxiety quickly dissipated after experiencing all these comforts.  I myself have already been to three doctors as a patient (more than I have been in the US within the last three years) and in all three instances I was given proper attention, in a comforting environment, with no language barrier.

When searching for my next doctor I will be sure to add Costa Rica as a viable option and to book my appointment with HuliHealth, but until then…Voy a comer mangos y bailar salsa. Pura Vida!

by Anthony Morano