English speaking doctor


(Ann Blake) #1

Hi all, I moved to France 4 days ago and I need to find an English speaking doctor in the nontron area. I have to have regular blood tests so need to find one soon.



Can anyone help me please.



Thanks



Ann


(Jane Williamson) #2

Ann, it takes a lot more than your post to offend the majority of us.
I quite understand your reasons for wanting to make sure that you are understood.
We first had a French doctor who was an Anglophile but a rubbish doctor. We now have another French doctor who speaks and loves to speak English. He worked in the USA for several years and has the attitude that we are a team looking after our health.


(Peter Bird) #3

The French professionals speak English because most of them have learned the language from an early stage in their education. It doesn't matter if they are in an expat community or not. Obviously the more expats around the more the professionals will usually speak, if they wish to. I don't think many consider the financial side of it as most of the docs etc I know have more than enough customers and don't rely on the expats to survive.

My point is not whether an expat speaks good or bad French, t's just the thought of that person actually making an effort to learn the language of their hosts. The laziness and lethargy of some well established expats annoys me though I suppose it comes down to the old chestnut of 'why do foreigners come to France in the first place ?' I suppose the people who can't be bothered are the ones who came to France to escape their country rather than those who came because they wanted to experience and enjoy the French way of life with all that goes with it ?


(John Scully) #4

I’m sure you didn’t offend anyone Ann.


(Sy Hughes) #5

And can I assume you got on OK with Dr Cheppeau?

I agree with almost everyone's comments. We came last year and have continued to extend our language skills by making total idiots of ourselves on an almost daily basis, I have stopped becoming embarrassed about and get better with every correction by the mainly English speaking French population around here.

I spoke to the customer service dept. of the company we have just purchased a pool from recently and despite speaking to the lady in French, the very first response she made to me was in English! When I asked why she told me she recognized my "cockney" accent...I'm originally from Bromley. She wanted to practise her English as much as I did my French so we spoke in opposite tongues, happens quite a lot actually.

The point is that many professional French people in the "expat ghettos" speak good English simply because it affords them an extra income stream and it's good for us because they can correct our French by explaining in English where we went wrong!

Anyway Anne, enjoy life around Nontron. We enjoy living around the town as I'm sure will you. The vets there are also very good!

Sy


(Brian Milne) #6

I have just come back from a hospital where I had an EEG, I have one a year. The technician was telling me to close eyes, open eyes in English after we had had done all other details and so on in French. The headset thing has a strap that makes it difficult to speak, so I commented after. She said that she used me to practice because she has quite a few people who do not speak French through and asked me to correct anything she had said wrong. To which I replied only to explain the difference between breathe and breath and that she should use the former and when she says eyes she does not need to call them 'highs' (they were very good aitches though). She noted both bits of advice. In my opinion that is somebody doing it absolutely correctly, she is trying to be 'available' for those who cannot understand who may well be stressed as well. But she is not obliged, nor should she be. However, to a large extent it ties in with what Véro said and actually shows that people who continue education and training up to high skills have picked up a second language on the way there. I just wonder how many EEG or ECG technicians in the UK could do the same? Or do they continue to just speak loud instead as they did with my OH when she was expected our daughters after establishing she if foreign although has perfectly good English? I think the people in the medical world in France are superb, sure I have had bad experience but that was wrong treatment and certainly not a language issue in either case.


(Ann Blake) #7

Thanks everyone. Love it here. Nudes there are challenges. We have only employed local artisans to do work on the house and in the grounds. It can lead to amusing conversations but we all get there in the end. I am finding the French people to be very friendly and patient. I even plucked up the courage to go and introduce myself to the local mayor. Very nice man. I am soon to arrange a Buffett lunch for the local neighbours, the mayor and his staff. Ploughing my way through the many French cookery books lol


(Sheila Walshe-Blackmore) #8

Absolutely agree, Andrew. I still remember being somewhat overwhelmed for our first few days here - not knowing anyone, thrown by the opening hours, etc. Ann, good luck with your new life in France, and we're all here to help.


(Andrew Hearne) #9

no you haven't, Ann, you've only been here a matter of days. ;-)


(Ann Blake) #10

I am sorry if I have offended people. I am learning to speak French, I only mix with French people but as I have to have 10 blood tests a week I wanted to make sure that the doctor fully understood my health condition. Many thanks for your responses.


(Sheila Walshe-Blackmore) #11

There are many reasons for a move to France. You might, for example, have moved here because your spouse/partner was transferred by the employer, and finding yourself unprepared to deal with another language.

I have a friend who is dyslexic and finds it incredibly difficult to learn another language because he has difficulty in writing down new words, etc., and has to rely completely on memory.

The older you get, the harder it is to learn new skills including languages.

Having said that, my husband and I CHOSE to come here, therefore we both strongly felt we should make an effort to learn/speak French. We are still far from fluent, but we organised a French conversation class with a French friend a couple of years ago, and now 5 of us meet every Monday evening, for aperos, and spend 1.5 hours "mangling" the French language and enjoying the social aspect.


(Andrew Hearne) #12

stand by what I say but in a very chilled way ;-)


(Andrew Hearne) #13

I saw the post but didn't comment as we didn't have one but we do regularly eat/drink together and help each other out when needed. those that don't, well it's their loss!


(Catharine Higginson) #14

Whilst I don't of course expect anyone in any professional capacity to speak English, given the choice I'd personally rather speak English despite being reasonably fluent in French.

I therefore think it is entirely understandable that some people would prefer to discuss what may be stressful subjects in their native tongue - hence the original post. I don't see an 'English / Spanish speaking' dentist as being much different to a 'late night / drive through' bakery. It's just a service. Chill people!


(Peter Bird) #15

I tried a 'Fête des Voisins' Andrew topic but only one person bothered to respond so i'm assuming most expats don't actually 'mix' with their French hosts, preferring to stay in their expat ghettos ?


(Andrew Hearne) #16

It riels me too, Peter, but I don't want to "start a fight"! Véro's example highlights some of the worst "expat attitudes" which don't go a long way to harmonise inter-nationality relations!


(Peter Bird) #17

I think most french speakers or at least, expats who at least make an effort on here agree with you Andrew. You use the word 'lighthearted' but it riles me to think a section of epats in France don't make any effort and they do actually expect the French to speak English ! All the French i've spoken to about it over the years actually admire and respect any foreigner who tries to have a go in their language, however badly or incorrectly they speak. Just a bit of effort is needed, that's all...


(Andrew Hearne) #18

I'm a little gobsmaked to say the least at some of the posts here, why on earth should anyone expect a doctor or anyone else for that matter to speak in English unless they work in Export/with anglophone countries. I think it's already been said but I can't even imagine the situation in reverse - everyone in the UK speaking French to French tourists/expats.

Before I get shot down in flames, please read this as a lighthearted reply and not a rant...!!!


(Peter Bird) #19

Sounds very 'complete' Doreen, this should make the transition a lot easier and quicker for all concerned.


(Wendy Hardinge George) #20

Hi, when we first moved to France, nine years ago now, I wrote a letter to the doctor with a snapshot of our medical history then translated using Google translate, wasn’t perfect but the doctor understood it and was very greatfull, and we have never had any problems, hope this is helpful.