A travel medicine physician is a doctor who specialises in diseases encountered by travellers. They are involved in preventive medicine, seeing, advising and immunising patients before travel, but also in care of ill patients who have returned from overseas.
All aspects of travel health.
Infectious diseases encountered often include:
- Dengue fever
- Diarrhoeal diseases
- Sexually transmitted diseases
- Fever of unknown origin
- Parasitic infections
Specialty Areas of Interest
- Tropical diseases
- Preventive health
- Public health
- Blood tests for infections
- Urine tests
- Stool tests
- Imaging tests may include X-Rays, ultrasound and CT scans
- Most infectious diseases are treated with medications including antibiotics. Occassionally a surgical procedure is required as part of treatment however patients are usually referred to a specialist surgeon for this. Preventive measures include travel advice, immunisations and disease prophylaxis.
What to expect
You travel medicine specialist will take a long history enquiring about your proposed or actual travel, the health measures you took and exposures you had, your immunisation history and past medical history. They will then concentrate on your symptoms and develop a likely differential diagnosis to further investigate if it is indicated.
A general physical examination is an important part of your assessment. Your doctor will take your temperature, pulse and blood pressure. The exact examination will depend a little on your symptoms. The doctor is likely to inspect your skin, lymph nodes (glands), hands, mouth and eyes, then examine your cardiovascular system (heart), respiratory system (lungs) and gastrointestinal systems (abdomen). An examination of your genitals may be important if you have had symptoms in this region.