Trained by former White House physicians on what outstanding care is, and how they deliver it, Hunter Schultz sets the benchmarks to measure your future expat care. More important, how to get as close to those benchmarks as possible, no matter where you are.
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You will find my name in the book so I am not unbiased. That said, Schultz has written a very helpful book on what a person needs to consider before starting an expat career or just a short time gig. But his real benefit is to explain healthcare needs and how to get them. He emphasizes direct primary care so that you will get the type of full, expert care that only comes when the doctor has the time to listen carefully, think deeply about your issues, maybe time to do some research and finally to offer a plan of treatment and followup. He spent time with a key member of the White House care team to understand just how the very best primary care is organized and delivered to the president. This type of care is invaluable especially when you are far from home (although it is just as important in the US as well.) I heartily recommend Expat Health Guide.
Stephen C. Schimpff, MD, MACP
Former CEO: University of Maryland Medical Center
Author: Fixing the Primary Care Crisis; Longevity Decoded
The author lives in Panama and writes with his experience living as an expat in Panama. However, most of the points he makes in the book can be applied as principles for most people. I liked particularly his point stressed along the book, that you must be willing to adapt to your new country rather than expecting your new country to adapt to you. Seems obvious but is so frequently forgotten. All in all, a very helpful healthcare guide for anyone looking to emigrate either for work/business or for retirement.
Medical privacy is crucial for outstanding care, regardless of your location. Here's Hunter's take on the current status in the US and elsewhere.
Being an expat requires a major mindset change. Culture shock is one reason. Being a fish out of water, another. I recall a scene in the video adaptation of Peter Mayle’s bestselling book, A Year in Provence, illustrating the point.
Not long after moving from London to their idyllic Provençal home, things went south. As the famous Mistral winter wind picked up, Annie Mayle asked if it’s normal.
Peter: “No idea! It’s wonderful, isn’t it?”
Annie: “What’s wonderful?”
Peter: “We’ve no idea what’s normal anymore!”
The classic fish out of water dramatic device.
Yet for expats, it’s all too real. It takes a while to figure out what’s normal. You’ll have to trust me on this. If you’re a smart expat, recognize it is most likely a permanent state of mind, only adding to the journey.
I see many posts from these intrepid travelers asking about internet speed and work spots. What’s missing is healthcare. Few even ask about it. Such is the lifestyle, I guess. While I tailored this guide for expat long-term stays and a deeper doctor/patient relationship, digital nomads fall in between tourists and expats. It’s a given they are younger and more flexible with their time. They’re more likely to put healthcare on the backburner. But good health and wellness practices start at an early age, as Dr. Schimpff notes in his book, Longevity Decoded. Wise nomads consider their healthcare while traveling.
Many countries have small walk-in clinics, where you wait to see a doctor. Any doctor. Hence, there’s not much chance to unpack underlying issues. Again, you’re getting sick care, and not much more. So, my suggestion is to have a PCP in your home country as your point of contact in case of an emergency or if a local doctor needs a better idea of your medical history beyond the form you fill out. You may need to offer paying a small monthly retainer for your PCPs’ timely availability.
If you’re looking for answers to your Expat healthcare questions, this guide is a must-read! Shattering common misconceptions about getting great healthcare, the time savings alone are well worth it.
But, in the best tradition of late night television, wait, there's more! It's one thing knowing what great care is. This book shows you how to find the best possible care in your new home.
And there's still more. Even if you don't move, you'll understand two critical issues with healthcare today—regardless of country.
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Born and raised in the Chicago area, he worked in the automotive industry as a car salesperson and racing team manager, financial services as a Registered Representative, and a member of the Chicago Board Options Exchange.
A short stint in computer software sales led to co-founding an e-commerce company, which grew into one of the first IBM e-Business partners, followed by co-founding an air and water purification environmental services company.
An expat in Panama since 2004, he worked in business development at LifeFlight Panama, built aircharterpanama.com to promote aviation charters. He co-founded an air medical transport service using the membership model, like Direct Primary Care.
Over the last decade, he’s represented two businesses delivering protective medical care to high-net-worth individuals. He learned care's gold standard from former White House physicians.
He created, produced, and hosted the Winning Healthcare Food Fights show featuring Direct Primary Care physicians and their patients.
Fighting pandemic malaise, he started Going Panama, a media channel currently on YouTube devoted to all things Panama, where he serves as the editor and publisher.
When time enables, he writes for A Little Bit Better on Medium.com, covering personal development and health subjects.
He’s a bit of a technology nerd, and if you haven’t guessed by now, grew up a more interested in books, finding an entire world awaiting him in the family’s Encyclopedia Britannica. However, you can take him to a cocktail party, and he’ll entertain an audience with stories of meeting rock stars at the Ferrari factory, his thoughts entering turn one after taking the green flag in his race car, and if time permits, how a young Jimmy Buffett unknowingly worked on a future floating nuclear power station used in the Panama Canal.
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