Thursday, October 29, 2009

Let's Get [a] Physical!

I spent the better part of the morning at Mok-dong Hospital (my Thursday schedule gives me free periods from 10:30 to 2:10). Never fear: me, flu? No! I was there to get a medical exam as required biennially by my school--totally different than the medical exam required by SMOE for my contract renewal back in early August.

In addition to a standard work-up, employees in my age group have to be tested for gastric cancer. I assume that next time it will be for a different cancer. The regular check-up is free, but the public health insurance only covers 80% of the cancer thing. Miss Lee was so apologetic when she told me about this, I made sure to have lots of cash when I went in.

Well, my 20% came to W9,320 (about USD 8). I only mention this for the context it provides my friends in America who fear the single-payer system (hell, looks like we won't even get a robust public option). I pay 4.5% of my salary matched by the employer, plus co-pays like this, for modern medical care--computers, X-ray machines, lab coats, that hospital smell. A complete physical took about 2:15, including the exit interview. I finished up Life of Pi while in the waiting areas. Riveting read, awesome ending!

My results? Well, they will mail the full report to me in "less than two weeks", but I did see some of the results when I talked to the doctor.
Bad news: I am overweight, have high blood pressure, and drink and smoke too much. Not that that's news...
Good news: my weight is down 3 kg from August, my systolic BP down 15 points, and the doc informed me the ideal amount to drink is 1 to 2 bottles of beer per day.
Best news: he didn't specify what size of bottles.

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