Charlotte Attry, author of the Small Medical Note for Francophones in the United States. (Credit: Charlotte Attry)

"I wrote it in five days, it took me like that, one morning! ". If Charlotte Attry knew right away to write her medical guide, it was because she experienced the American health care system at her expense. "I have health concerns that have made me go through many different specialties, in various structures"says the 37-year-old journalist based in Berkeley for two years, where she feeds her blog Beyond the Bridge.

This mother of two, aged 6 and 3, remembers her doctor's appointments, tapping on Google translate, to find the right translation for her symptom. "To say kidney stones in English for example, there is the scientific term and another name used by doctors! ".

Through this small accurate medical for the use of French speakers in the United States, free and available in PDF format, the expatriate wants "Give pointers to people who come in and need words to say what's going on in their bodies". Description of symptoms, useful expressions, medical insurance puzzles: Charlotte Attry deals with precision, simplicity and a touch of humor, of the American health care system.

The importance of health insurance

Without going into "The meanders of the ruthless system of American private medical insurance", the author discusses the concepts of "coverage", "deductible", "copayment", "out of Pocket maximum". "When choosing insurance, everything is theoretical. When we need it, we understand that we have an interest in having chosen our plan because we can not go back. "

The journalist recalls that health problems are a source of significant budget concerns for Americans. "It's walking or beating, she denounces. In France, we have no concept of the cost of health. Here, when four vaccines cost $ 1,000, we see things differently. When you have a nasopharyngitis, you go to the pharmacy instead of going to the doctor. "

In the coming months, Charlotte Attry plans to write a second version, declined by specialty "With a topo on appointments at the pediatrician for pathologies related to the child or a booklet on gynecological consultation, already imagine the French who remembers the time she arrived "At the gynecologist like a flower". "I realized that my good level of English was not enough. An IUD remains an IUD … It is beautiful to describe it, we still need specific words to be understood! "


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