Going to a Dermatologist in Korea
***If you are interested in finding and english speaking doctor the korean tourism website has a chart of location, kind of medicine and language spoken at each spot, it is very helpful and can be located here:
If you have any luck whatsoever, you will never need to visit any of the plentiful skin doctors in Busan. I however, am not a lucky person and have had troubled skin since I was a kid.
I am allergic to most anything, so fancy soaps and cheap jewelry have been annihilated from my life, and sometimes my skin just likes breaking out in random rashes caused by poor air quality, or because its Tuesday.
Without having to go into further medical detail, a good Dermatologist is necessary for my life. My guy back home was the best in the state, it took about a 3 month appointment to see him and not one of his associates and of course his office was always running behind. He was able to diagnose my problems quickly and had samples of expensive medication so I did not have to buy too much of it. The waiting was the worst part, but he was wonderful!
The first time I had to go in Korea was the first week; my co teacher was nice enough to take me to an office that was close to my house the office looked like a doctor’s office back home. I was able to get everything sorted easily, and since I did not have my medical insurance card at the time the visit cost me a whopping 11,000 KRW. This was really a shock to me, back home, that trip would have cost about 35,000 with brilliant insurance, without it I would be looking at about 100,000 KRW just to get diagnosed. Granted many countries have a much better health care system than the states do, but as an American, this was astounding!
The second time I went, I thought I went to the same office that my co teacher took me to, turns out there is another dermatologist on the 4th floor of the building next to the one that I went to. The office was nicer, and less busy, but looked more like a spa than the other one did. I saw older women come and go and it only took them about 15 minutes to see me (I had no appointment). The clinic seemed to specialize in more “beauty” aspects of dertmology, but they were able to help me with my dermatitis easily. The language barrier was ok, seeing as the doctor knew most words that he needed to communicate to me “ Cold shower” “no jim jill bang” “put cream on arm twice a day”. When I went to pay they told me 35, so I pulled out 3 10’s and a 5. She ended up taking the five because with my insurance the trip cost 3,500 KRW I was more than pleased.
Having insurance helps in Korea, but if you do not, its really not that big of a deal. Going to a dermatologist is easy, there are so many in Busan and the doctors are really friendly and helpful.
If you have something that you are sure you need an English speaking dermatologist for, then ask a Korean friend or Co teacher to help you find one, but if its something simple or obvious, then find one close and don’t hesitate on going. Many places are open until 6 and all of them allow you to just walk in and wait.
I thought I had a good doctor back home, but I am not sure it could even compare to the wonderful experiences I have had here.
To go to the one that I had visited its by PNU
Go to the orange line stop 127 Jangjeong Walk out exit 4 and go left. Take your first right down a major street and walk up a block and a half. The buildings are the ones right before the lotte mart and the dermatologist is on the 5th floor of the first bulding, and the 3rd floor of the second. Both speak enough English!