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Hi, I am wondering if anyone can recommend an english speaking doctor in the Bidart/Biarritz/Bayonne area?

Thank you!
 

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English speaking Ob - 8 months pregnant

Hello!

I will be moving to Anglet with my family September 1st and 8 months pregnant. I am looking for an English speaking Ob/Gyn and any hospital/clinic recommendations the expat community of Biarritz/Bayonne can give me! I'm a little anxious about moving so close to my due date and would be so grateful for some advice!

Gratefully,

Annabelle
American expat
 

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The US consulate list of English speaking hospitals and doctors Resources for US Citizens | Embassy of the United States Paris, France lists 4 hospitals in Bordeaux, 2 gynes and 3 GPs who speak English.

There are some departements where the préfets apparently come down pretty hard on doctors deemed to be "advertising" by listing themselves as speaking English (or any other foreign language), so in some locations, you just have to ask around.

You could call the English speaking hospitals in Bordeaux and see if they can refer you to someone in the Biarritz/Bayonne area - but finding anyone around in mid-summer like this is going to be tricky. Even the expat groups are most likely shut down for the summer - though they will be back in force right around the 1st of September.

Another option is to check into Message, which is an anglophone group for parents in France. They're based in the Paris area, but they do have contact people scattered throughout France. Don't know how active/available they are over the summer, but if you joined up I'm sure they could point you to someone in the Biarritz area who might be able to help. Welcome to Message Paris
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Are there medical societies here that one can call for an inquiry? Example, if you are seeking a doctor who specializes in one area, aren't there societies that a specialized physician is a member of and those societies can review their database for a physician fluent in x language? Warm regards!
 

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Actually, no. That doesn't seem to be the way it works here. The medical society is the one that bans its members from "advertising" in the first place, and they definitely seem to take the strictest view concerning what constitutes "advertising" in the profession.

From what I understand, it's the medical society that has the most stringent ban on doctors listing themselves as "English speaking" or whatever. It seems to be the custom here to let your GP refer you to the specialists in your area, however you are free to select someone else in the appropriate specialty. There is a list on the Ameli site of doctors by specialty - but they don't list languages on that listing.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Thanks for your help. I am a member of Message, no luck so far with anyone able to recommend an English speaking Ob/Gyn. I wasn't thinking about the "vacances" factor in August, I guess I will have better luck when we arrive Sept 1st. In general are there some doctors who speak English, are they hard to come by? Thanks, Anne
 

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By virtue of the requirements for the Bac. and the generally high academic standard required for Fac, which includes at least one foreign language, most professionals (medicine, pharmacy, law, vet practice, etc.) seem reasonably proficient in - typically - English, in my experience. Getting them to use it may be more of a challenge ;)

The only place we've encountered here where THEY, in fact, were more worried about their lack of English, rather than our command of French has been the Pompes Funebres. (Sprog and I are on stand-by for them if required.)

hils
 

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Not trying to scare you in any way, but although "everyone" here studied English at some point during their school years, most people have pretty much let it all go unless they have some particular motivation to practice their English - anglophone spouse or family, travel, etc.

In an area with lots of anglophone expats, you may find a couple doctors who are able and willing to speak English, but generally they really do expect you to muddle through in French. (I found this out the hard way when I had appendicitis - have never have so many people tell me that they had English in school but have since forgotten it all.) Most doctors and particularly the nurses will do their best if you try and meet them half-way. Fortunately, most of the "medical" words are similar - appendicite for appendicitis, for example.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Hmmm, as always, you're right Bev, but I have found that the worse "your" French, the better the English of your interlocutor - perhaps you & I have found that we intimidate their use of English by our use of French.

Certainly here, I've heard pros talk with other expats in competent English, when they've determinedly avowed to me that their English is sketchy at best as learned at school!!!

The other disadvantage I've noted is that, if you do speak competent French, it's kind of assumed you know all the infrastructure and protocol of everything else. Whereas the complete numpties get hand-fed ... grrrrrr lol

Isn't there some saying about "a little knowledge ..." somewhere?
 

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It may be different where you are, but here in Essonne (deepest, darkest Essonne) the doctors are particularly loathe to admit any knowledge of English. No one from this departement responds to the US Consulate appeal for the list of English speaking doctors (I've always suspected that the prefet here is particularly nasty about this) and while I have heard a few folks mention doctors in the towns 15 or 20 kilometers away who are "ok" with English, none of the doctors in the immediate area seem to be willing to use English.

Well, except our dentist - but I discouraged him big time because, as he says, I talk too fast. So now he makes me speak French with him. But he's a furriner by origin, too, so we have a good time grousing about the French administration. Or rather, he grouses and I make sympathetic noises while he has his hands in my mouth.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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I should add that there's no excuse tho' for not learning French, and trying to do your best ... :) And in many places you NEED French.

& I'll qualify my earlier remarks by adding that those expats who do get such bilingual treatment do start off by trying to do their best in French, and are acting - as I always say you should - with humility.

h
 

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Hi Anne,

I will be arriving in Bayonne/Biarritz on August 28 to live with my husband who has been in the area for about five years. He has several friends with babies, I will ask if any if them know an English speaking OB in the area.

We are hoping to have more children (I have a son) and so will also be looking for an OB/gyn upon my arrival. My French is ; however, medical lingo is hard enough in English, so a doctor with an affinity or willingness to speak some English would be a blessing.

Alison

P.s. would love to connect with you after we both arrive.

Do you or your husband speak some French?

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Hi Alison,

Thanks for your message. I have an appointment with a doctor next week, hoping it works out, I will let you know. She apparently speaks a little English and has delivered babies for expats. I do speak decent French and can get by, but prefer to communicate in English when it comes to having this baby! My husband is fluent, French/American.
I would love to meet up soon. We arrive on Sunday!

Take care,

Anne
 

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Hi Alison,

Thanks for your message. I have an appointment with a doctor next week, hoping it works out, I will let you know. She apparently speaks a little English and has delivered babies for expats. I do speak decent French and can get by, but prefer to communicate in English when it comes to having this baby! My husband is fluent, French/American.
I would love to meet up soon. We arrive on Sunday!

Take care,

Anne
Anne, that is great news regarding the doctor. We are in Rouen and Paris until the 5th, but we will be back and moving into our apartment in Biarritz next week. If you have a few more posts I can PM you my email/phone.

Would love to meet up for coffee/tea and get a report on the doc!

Alison

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