I got a taste of the German medical system on Monday. It seems Italy left me a parting gift in the form of a insect bite that became infected. I had a six inch red streak running from the bite down my chest. By coincidence, "Gift" in German means poison.
Here´s how it works here. Pharamcists (Apotheker) have the ability to make diagnoses and prescribe medications without the need for a doctors prescriptions (in some cases). Figuring this was the best triage I could have, I went to "Spital-Apothek" which takes it´s name from the Heilig-Geist-Spital a Mediveal Hospital built on the river that divides Nürnberg. There, they looked at my shoulder and decided to call a doctor upstairs. He was worried that it could be infected and wanted to take a look.
I went upstairs to a private practice (Praxis) and waited in a line. When I reached the desk, they sent for someone with good English skills. I thought I was doing pretty well, but in this case, they probably wanted to be sure. It was explained that this is a cash only system so I should probably cash up at the nearest bank. This got me worried that I might be paying US type of prices for a simple visit.
Back downstairs, I stopped by a cafe for a shot of espresso and was pleased to find it was a little Italian spot. As far as coffee goes, Italy consitently has better coffee than Germany. Then I went back up stairs to wait some more.
I didn´t have to wait long. Dr. Weiler, an energetic, but friendly man with a cherubic face, found me and brought me in for a look. Between his English and my German, he explained how it was likely some kind of wasp that got so hungry it decided I was a good dining spot. That infected the wound which I learned is called "Wundrosen" and then leads to further "Infection" (spelled the same). I was given a prescriptions for some powerful antibiotics and send along with out being charged.
I guess we both got a good story out of it.
Oh, and I spent an hour photographing a dozen medical instruments at the Germanisces National Museumand more time being blown away at the collection of Masterworks where they put the best of the 16th - 18thC in ust a few rooms.
Right now I have to catch my train to Ingolstadt for the Medical Museum there plus the worlds largest fresco.