Travel Clinic: What Is It

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What is a Travel Doctor?

written by Riley McCabe Written by Riley McCabe
Riley McCabe

Riley McCabe

Riley has a background in international affairs and enjoys writing about health and public policy subjects. He hopes his work will provide readers with the tools to live happily.

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January 23, 2021 Read Time - 5 minutes

Why See a Travel Doctor?

Before you take a trip abroad, you may be recommended or even required to visit a travel doctor before departure. A travel doctor is a travel medicine specialist who knows about the particular illnesses, diseases, and risks associated with various regions and countries around the world.

There are several services a travel doctor provides before your trip, including:

  • You may be required to have certain vaccinations before traveling to specific places around the world. A travel doctor will be able to verify if you are up to date on your routine vaccinations, and can provide those necessary for your specific destination.
  • A travel doctor can provide practical advice on how to reduce the risk of a health complication while you’re away. This may include tips to avoid certain foods, areas, or practices that jeopardize your health and safety.
  • If you are sick or have been sick recently, a travel doctor can help you determine if it is safe to travel, particularly if your destination is a location without reliable health services.
  • If you have a health condition that is controlled by your current medications, your travel doctor can provide the documentation necessary for you to seek maximum coverage of your treatment in a travel insurance plan.
  • Book on our free mobile app or website.

    Our doctors operate in all 50 states and same day appointments are available every 15 minutes.

  • See a doctor, get treatment and a prescription at your local pharmacy.

  • Use your health insurance just like you normally would to see your doctor.

PlushCare-App-Steps

When Should I See a Travel Doctor?

Once you have a trip planned abroad, you should contact a travel doctor as soon as possible. Talking to a professional is the best way to ensure you have all necessary vaccinations for travel and are well stocked with any necessary prescription medications.

Some vaccinations require a booster shot with a waiting period of 4 to 6 weeks in between, so make sure to plan ahead of time.

According to the US Department for Health & Human Services, “It’s important to get vaccinated at least 4 to 6 weeks before you travel. This will give the vaccines time to start working, so you’re protected while you’re traveling. It will also usually make sure there’s enough time for you to get vaccines that require more than 1 dose.”

What Does Travel Medicine Mean?

Travel medicine refers to a branch of medicine that specializes in diseases and conditions that may be acquired during travel. When traveling to a different country or region of the world, your body may be exposed to new illnesses and risks specific to that location.

As such, travel medicine exists to protect you while you are on your trip. Travel medicine commonly refers to immunizations, preventative medication, and general precautions that should be considered prior to traveling.

Some popular examples of travel medicine include:

  • Immunizations against hepatitis A, hepatitis B, typhoid, yellow fever, meningococcal meningitis, rabies, tetanus, diphtheria, and polio are often required prior to travel.
  • Preventative medications against diarrhea, malaria, and tuberculosis are commonly prescribed for travelers.
  • Precautions about beverages, weather, insect bites, and personal hygiene are also important for travelers who may not know what to expect from their destination.
  • Patients with underlying medical conditions such kidney disease, diabetes, or HIV may need special arrangements in order to safely travel.

Why Do I Need Travel Medicine?

There are several reasons why you may need travel medicine before departing on a trip. Most importantly, you may be required to have certain vaccinations before you are even allowed into another country. Travel medicine may also be preventative to help protect you from common illnesses often caught at your destination. Every region in the world has different diseases that may pose health hazards if your body is not prepared for them.

There are a number of specific factors that may affect your health during travel, including:

  • Your age
  • Your current health
  • Your medical history
  • Your record of getting routine and seasonal vaccinations
  • Your travel destination(s)
  • The length of your trip
  • The time of year you are traveling
  • The activities you plan to do on your trip

A fit and healthy 20-year old planning a hiking trip in Latin America will require very different immunizations, medications, and precautions when compared to a 70-year old planning to attend a performance at the Sydney Opera House.

  • Book on our free mobile app or website.

    Our doctors operate in all 50 states and same day appointments are available every 15 minutes.

  • See a doctor, get treatment and a prescription at your local pharmacy.

  • Use your health insurance just like you normally would to see your doctor.

PlushCare-App-Steps

What is a Travel Clinic?

Travel clinics are medical facilities that specialize in travel medicine and services. This includes providing required immunizations, recommended medications, and general precautions that may be necessary or helpful before traveling to a specific country or region.

The International Society of Travel and Medicine hosts an online directory of travel clinics that can be searched for clinics in your area.

How Do I Find a Travel Doctor?

Looking for a travel doctor near me? There are plenty of resources at your disposal to find a travel doctor prior to your departure. 

Your primary care doctor is usually the best place to start when looking for a travel doctor. They may be able to provide the services necessary themselves or recommend you to a travel specialist.

Booking an appointment with your primary care doctor can take weeks or even months, and you may not have the time or patience to wait for the immunizations required to travel.

Fortunately, our online doctors at PlushCare are available with online appointments immediately. Skip the waiting room lines and speak to a PlushCare doctor today by clicking here.

Although a virtual travel doctor cannot directly administer immunizations, there are still plenty of reasons to book online. At PlushCare, our doctors can give you critical travel advice, clarify what immunizations you need to get before departure, and prescribe you any medications you may need to take with you.

Seeing a doctor is easy with PlushCare, just click here to get started.


Sources:

PlushCare is dedicated to providing you with accurate and trustworthy health information.

wwwnc.cdc.gov. Traveler’s Health. Accessed on January 23, 2021 at https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel

vaccines.gov. Vaccines for Travelers. Accessed on January 23, 2021 at https://www.vaccines.gov/who_and_when/travel

istm.org. Online Clinic Directory. Accessed on January 23, 2021 at https://www.istm.org/AF_CstmClinicDirectory.asp

Most PlushCare articles are reviewed by M.D.s, Ph.Ds, N.P.s, nutritionists and other healthcare professionals. Click here to learn more and meet some of the professionals behind our blog. The PlushCare blog, or any linked materials are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice, nor is the information a substitute for professional medical expertise or treatment. For more information click here.

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