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My Medical Visit “pour le travail” in France

Every salarié (salaried employee) is required by law to go for une visite medicale (a medical visit) once a year or once every two years depending on the industry and position in the company. It is a special doctor’s appointment at a special clinic that falls under “Association Interprofessionnelle des Centres Médicaux et Sociaux de le Région île de France”. Mine was at Rue de la Pompe today in the 16th.

This medical visit is paid for partly by the employer and partly by the French government. The purpose is to make sure that every employee is suited to be working for the post in which he or she is employed at. I think it is a good idea that workers are verified fit for work. Doctors at this type of clinics are able to issue paid-recuperation, sometimes for up to a few months or have the employee work fewer hours. Of course, there will be people who abuse the system. But I’m not interested in that.

What I didn’t expect was to get completely stark naked for a fit-for-work type of medical examination. The nurse says that doctors always see patients naked. So, there I was in my birthday suit for 20 minutes while the doctor asked me a bunch of questions about how often I travelled for work, if I experienced liver or kidney pains, if I had difficulty hearing…. I even did my eyesight test naked. Was it really necessary? This is by far the most surreal doctor’s visit in France.


I remember my last "medecine du travail" visit: I was wheighted with alla my clothes, my shoes on and my keys in my pocket (very usefull...) then I had a lung radiography taken, and I spoke for 15 minutes with a doctor who was much more interested in music (that's my job) than in my health.
Oh, and I was fully dressed ;-)

I told my DH about it tonight and he said it's old school French and he said he was fully clothed too. Argh!

That's so bizzare!

Did you at least have some sort of smock covering up your bits whilst you were being interogated?

i asked my french aunt about it... and she said the older doctors still do this. and new docs let us keep our knickers on.
i know better next time.

I can't help but laugh at the bizzare-ness of it all - If I was you and was asked to sit around butt-naked whilst taking an eye exam I would not be at all amused.

you know, this IS france. lots of bizarre things do happen. after the first 6 months, you'll get a bit de-sensitised and stop asking too many questions.
but that's a problem isn't it?

Hi Ginny
I protested the first time i went for the medical visit. I told him in Singapore we never get totally undress before the doctors. The doctor let me have my clothes (everything) on instead.

Wendy: I'm definitely doing that in 2 years' time! No more full monty for me!

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