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About amygutman

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Upstate New York
  • Interests
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Norwegian, Celebrity
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    All points Caribbean, Bermuda

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309 profile views
  1. That's great to hear - the news only tends to focus on the bad cases and bad outcomes (and usually only one biased side of the story). Many non-US docs I have met have literally waited years to have their application / hiring approved - the training and background required are challenging enough, but for non-Americans, these positions pay 3-4 times or more their average salary and are highly competitive. As an American EM physician, a ship monthly salary was about what I can earn in a week - but the perks, adventure, travel and humbling experience it is to meet crew each seeking their version of the "American Dream" - that it worth more than money.
  2. Chicken pox? Good lord...what misery! Cannot speak across cruise companies, but sometimes there are ways to reduce or waive charges - being polite and saying thank you goes a long, long way towards charges unless it's a specific medication / durable medical good...those the staff are accountable for and must charge unless the staff captain agrees to waive all / some fees. Kids and those sailing with special needs often get great documentation of care but reduced fees. We generally love catering to these guests. Also good to know: most cruise companies, from my understanding from "taka taka" among other cruise medical personnel, will completely waive bills for GI / influenza-like illnesses, or injuries sustained on cruise-sponsored activities unless the patient demonstrated gross negligence (i.e. highly intoxicated, asked to stop drinking and doesn't, then gets injured)
  3. I wish your wise words would be blasted across the forums - travel insurance is no joke, and not a luxury!!! You are incredibly foolish to travel without - it can cost more than you could imagine for the healthiest, youngest person to have a medical emergency at sea.
  4. Certainly took it as praise, not a criticism about the documentation - I am sorry if it sounded otherwise. As painful as it is sitting at a computer when we really need to be tending to a patient, that documentation of your medical record is so incredibly important to you, the medical officials taking over that patient's care, and to the insurance companies. There was a great "article of the year" about 10 years back that noted that the average physician during a 12 hour shift "clicks" their mouse 10,000 times. 10,000!!!!
  5. Wonderful summary and insight into what my family and I think is the only way to sail on the larger ships. We love the Haven so much - it's not just the perks and pampering (though that, admittedly is awesome), it's just the feeling that you are having a very private 5 star-hotel on water experience without any stress. No lines, no worries - I agree it's a great way to travel. With a 10 yo, we will not be on the luxury liners any time soon, but look forward to hearing abut your experiences. Amy
  6. Just saw this...email me at prehospitalmd@gmail.com and I will send you a link to my hubby's facebook page where I have a series of "porthole musings" about life as a doc at sea and the awesome folks I met.
  7. Thank you so much! This was an amazing report...would love to see this lovely ship in person - perhaps 2021!!!!
  8. I am glad to hear your husband did well - and yes...we do spend way, way too much of our time in front of a computer vs in front of our patients. This is a sad fact of medicine, but it absolutely does help the patient, family and (sometimes most importantly) insurance companies understand what we did. New York is a very expensive state to have a medical emergency in - I live and practice emergency medicine in NY and a short trip across the border could drop prices as much as 40% for some diagnoses and treatments.
  9. May I add...another moral of the story is thank goodness for travel insurance! I cannot tell you how many people travel without - a could be a very costly mistake. Glad all was well in the end.
  10. 😘 Can you tell that I'm proud of my team and all of the medical teams? It's funny...I googled "The Love Boat Doctor" as I had never seen the show. I'm glad I didn't have that expectation of fun, free time, drinking and loving-up the passengers when I signed on!
  11. Your friend is very lucky...and it sounds like he had outstanding care.
  12. 🥰 I'll thank my team...they are an amazing group of internationally trained, exceptionally kind (and extremely funny) professionals.
  13. Actual cruise ship doc here to answer your question.... Across the cruise lines having 2 sets of clinic hours 3-4 hours morning and afternoon are common. We take care of crew and guests during both times - no designated time for crew vs guests, though crew can have early appointments on a specific basis (i.e. the medical doc and nurse may also perform their physicals on-board which takes an hour or so). The doc and nurse are available 24/7 when not in clinic...there is never a time on board that you do not have access to them in an emergency. I have been woken up at 0300 for "emergency ear wax removal" only to have the patient refuse when they realize there is a fee for this service. No...clinic visits are not free - just like drinks, shirts and bingo are not free. But I guarantee you it is significantly cheaper than anything you can get on land in the US. I have been in emergency medicine for well over 2 decades and tell you that you will never pay less for outstanding concierge service than on a cruise ship. And it truly is concierge. The nurses and physicians are excellently trained, screened and have backgrounds consisting of never less than 3 years in EM, critical care, or IM with emergency training. They will speak your language or have translator services provided for free. They will provide care from a band-aid to resuscitating you with no advanced radiography, performing our own labs and x-rays, splinting, suturing and dispensing and mixing medications. We have little back-up while also trying to arrange your transfer to a land-based facility which can mean coordinating care between multiple international entities, ships and military forces. What are we doing when we are not in the limited clinic hours? Follow-ups, infection control, drills, training, educational initiatives, paperwork necessary to land the ship in every single foreign country - yes...at 0300 in the morning when you want your nausea medication (which...by the way is free on most cruise ships for a smile and a thank you), the doc is up filing paperwork 4 hours before every port to make sure the ship can actually dock and you can go on your excursion. We check the water supply on the ship constantly, serial sanitation controls, perform physical exams, coordinate care and transportation for every crew and guest member who needs a treatment evaluation in a foreign county, and do this in 24 hours shifts which are then followed by 8-12 hours of being "off call" - but generally are full of training, more paperwork, and helping our in the clinic when it is busy. Even worse...if you happen to have a private island day - the doc who was on the prior 24 hours for clinic and shift generally follows you to that island for another 12-16 hour day to ensure your safety on that island...and then has 4-6 hours off before starting another 36 hour "day". So yes...there are limited clinic hours. But please understand that you will never have faster and easier access to quality health care than on a ship. It's not a Level 1 Trauma Center, and we have absolute limitations on how we can help you in critical illnesses, but I have never been more proud of the work done by this dedicated group of professionals.
  14. Please be safe...thinking of you and all of your fellow crew who I am sure are taking the brunt of emotions from very frustrated cruisers! Amy
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