Although it is ideal to schedule your appointment at least one month in advance of your trip, we endeavor to accommodate last-minute travelers as well.
Before Making an Appointment
Is preventative counseling and/or vaccination needed or your upcoming trip? Check the attached link to the Center for Disease Control for specific information about the country to which you are traveling:
Before Your Appointment
- Contact your insurance company to verify coverage for "pre-travel immunizations." If your insurance does not cover immunizations, you will be asked to pay for services at the time of your visit.
- Obtain a referral from your primary care provider, if necessary. Fax it to 617-278-8101 or bring it in with you.
- Know your travel itinerary with departure dates and all destinations.
- Obtain documentation of all previous immunizations and bring it with you.
- Bring your World Health Organization International Certificate of Vaccination (
yellow book), if you have one from previous trips.
- Bring your insurance card and co-payment. We accept cash, check, debit and credit cards.
During Your Consult
A consult often lasts 35 minutes to 45 minutes.
The traveler's visit begins with a careful evaluation of their medical history including allergies and medication. Using the itinerary provided, the traveler is then counseled on topics that may include:
- Traveler's diarrhea
- Fruit, food, beverage (water) and animal safety
- Treatment of commonly encountered bacterial diseases
- Prevention of mosquito and other insect-borne maladies such as malaria
- Altitude sickness precautions for mountain climbers and deep-sea divers
After discussion of their side effects, the vaccines are administered, as deemed appropriate.
Recommended vaccines are usually based on several criteria including:
- Travel destinations
- Planned activities
- Urban/rural location of trip
- Past and present health status
These vaccines can be routine immunizations against diseases such as Polio, Hepatitis B and Tetanus or specialty vaccines against maladies like Yellow Fever, Typhoid and Japanese Encephalitis. Prophylactic medications are also prescribed, as needed.
Regional Health Concerns and Geo-Political Information
The traveler is provided with the most recently updated regional health concerns and geo-political information concerning their planned destination. Along with all this information, the traveler also receives an 'international medical assistance to travelers' booklet containing information about medical services available abroad.
After Your Consult
The traveler now possesses information on how to protect themselves during their trip using a customized health and travel information booklet, an official immunization record, food and water safety instructions and prophylactic medications. In some cases, a follow-up appointment will be set up at the front desk to receive a booster.
Travelers with Disabilities
Travelers with disabilities can consult the website below to obtain more information with regards to their trip:
What to Bring
As you embark on your travel, ensure that you have:
- Enough of any prescription or non-prescription medicine
- Extra pair of eyeglasses
- The following over-the-counter first aid items, as these are difficult to find in developing countries:
- Bandages in assorted sizes (
for minor cuts or blisters)
- Pain medication (
such as aspirin and ibuprofen)
- Anti-bacterial hand lotions or wipes
- Insect repellent and sunscreen
If You Become Ill Abroad
Should you become ill abroad, utilize the information in your travel booklet to find a physician or hospital. Although Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center has no direct knowledge or control over any of these providers, the link below contain lists of physician, hospitals and embassies for many parts of the world.
When to Visit Your PCP
On your return, it is prudent to visit your primary care physician or call the BIDMC Infectious Disease Department at 617-632-7706, if you:
- Were seriously ill abroad
- Have been abroad for extended time periods
- Develop a fever or other travel-related symptoms within 6 months of your return
It is important to
taking your anti-malaria and antibiotic pills for the full course of treatment as prescribed.