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I am an Italian citizen who moved to Rostock two years ago. I work as a full-time employee for a local company so everything (including my Krakenkasse registration) has been sorted out already.

I rarely get ill (on average I saw my doctor back in Italy maybe once every 2-3 years) but I you never know when you might happen to need a doctor... and it would be better to have already someone you know (I might also ask for a general check-up to build some sort of medical history here).

My problem is that my German is still basically non-existant (I speak in English in the office).

I contacted the Krakenkasse and they provided a website which lists doctors in the area, but there is no indication of language they are proficient with.

So, is there any way to find out except by trying to contact them first (by email or traditional mail, maybe) and describe my situation? Is there any particular strategy you are supposed to adopt in looking for a doctor, or do you just walk in the studio, talk to them and then they take you as a patient?

(In Italy it is semi-automatically assigned by area residence, even if you can subsequently change it).

Of course an Italian-speaking doctor would be even better, but I suppose that my chances would be even lower in this case.

  • You might as well start by looking for an Italian speaker. If you don't look, you might never know! If I were you I'd call some doctors and ask whether they speak Italian or, if not, if they can refer you to someone who does. If in the end you're unable to find an Italian-speaking doctor, you'll at least have a better idea of which ones have better English. – phoog Jun 19 '16 at 21:47
  • Well, if I write or otherwise contact them I will of course mention I am Italian, but this does not really changes the problem. – p.marino Jun 20 '16 at 5:06
  • Perhaps not, but it does give you a face-saving way out if a doctor insists he speaks English well but actually speaks it poorly. I've met a couple of Germans in that camp. – phoog Jun 20 '16 at 5:08
  • Part of the problem is that I do not want to have to do dozens of interviews (phone or face to face) so I'd like to pre-screen as many of them as possible before meeting. Regarding your concerns: I doubt that a doctor would pretend to be able to speak reasonable English if this is the only way to interact with a patient. – p.marino Jun 20 '16 at 5:36
  • If your Krankenkasse doesn't have a list, and you can't find any obvious online lists/review sites, then calling is indeed probably the best option. In the end you'll have to intersect on a) whether you can communicate, b) whether you trust the physician and c) whether they're reasonably close to you to be useful. It's hard to pre-screen for all of that. Especially since it's not urgent yet, you could try around over the course of a year or so, calling just a handful of people ahead each time to narrow it down. – deceze Jun 20 '16 at 7:42
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The Aerztekammer Mecklenburg-Vorpommern has a search for doctors that accepts a city and the type of doctor you want. It's at http://217.91.151.230/Arztsuche/. You cannot select the language, and it's a bit tedious, but for general doctors (Allgemeinmedizin) there are only 121 pages of results. It's worth a shot to go through them to pre-screen by name. I believe spotting an Italian-looking name should not be too hard.

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