How can I help you? – is a question often asked by doctors at the beginning of a consultation. It is important that you formulate your symptoms in an understandable way.

In Germany, there are two types of medical treatment available for patients from abroad. You either contact a private general practitioner or visit a hospital.

When visiting a private specialist, you make an appointment by phone. There is a reception in every private doctor’s office. If you arrive at the appointed time, contact the lady or gentleman at the reception and give them your name. Then take a seat in the waiting room and wait until you are called. When your name is mentioned, go to the consulting room, where you will be taken care of by the doctor. If you need help with organizing a private practice visit, you can get help from a referral desk. You should be careful when choosing the mediator.

In the hospital admission is very similar to a private doctor’s office. There is an information desk in the entrance area where you can sign up. If you decide to sign up in a large hospital, there is often an International Office with multilingual staff who will help you in your own language.

Consultation with the doctor

If you meet the doctor for the first time, it is important that he knows exactly what kind of pain you have, in order to perform the appropriate tests. Do you suffer from insomnia, hair loss or difficulty swallowing? Are you sick or do you vomit frequently? It is not always easy to find the right words.

In addition, doctors asks about other things during the first consultation. Are you vaccinated? Are there any previous diagnoses? Which medications do you take? Often a patient would send documents about their illness to the hospital before traveling. The doctor will ask you for the vaccination certificate or your medication during the first session. Therefore, it is important that you are prepared for these questions.


In the enclosed PDF, which was created on behalf of the city of Düsseldorf, you will find the most important terms for the first interview in: English, French, Arabic and Darì. You can print the PDF and take it with you to the doctor, so you have a good basis for conversation right from the start.