I would like a recipe from the doctor

It took me a couple of months to find out that German doctors only write prescriptions for a short amount of time (maybe 1-6 months). If you need a prescription for longer than that (i.e. for a drug you are always on), you have to continuously contact your doctor to get a new prescription. One of my doctors only writes me a 30-day supply for a drug and for physical therapy, so I have to contact him directly every month through email or by phone for a new prescription.

While I was trying to figure this procedure out, I asked my physical therapist about it. “Yes,” she said, “You need to ask your doctor for a new recipe to continue physical therapy.”

I understood what she meant, even though “recipe” didn’t make sense in the sentence.

The same week, I was confirming the prescription policy with one of my German friends whose English skills are nearly impeccable. “Yes,” she said, “It’s normal to have to get a new recipe every month.”

An apple a day or apple pie?

Thinking that this couldn’t be a coincidence, I looked up the translations for prescription and for recipe. It turns out they are the same word, “Rezept.”

It seems strange asking my doctor for a recipe, but I think he can tell the difference between that and a prescription. So far, I’ve only gotten prescriptions in the mail from him and not cut outs from Food and Wine magazine.

*If you are looking for a recipe from a doctor, I highly recommend Domestic Diva, M.D. She is a doctor with a cooking blog. I hope if any German patients get their translation mixed up and ask her for a recipe, she will gladly write down instructions for homemade tomato sauce on her prescription pad.


7 responses to “I would like a recipe from the doctor

  1. It would be refreshing if a doc actually gave me a script for: one apple 2x/day, Blueberries before every meal and 15 minutes of sunshine 3x/week!

  2. It’s your blog that puts an interesting, real world spin on learning and helps me retain some of what I learn. This post was timely because a couple days later on my German a Day calendar, July 2nd was “Ich brauche ein Rezept” then July 3rd was “Meine Mutter hat ein tolles Rezept für Rinderbraten”.

    Ich verstehe Rezept, danke.

  3. Indeed in the latin word recipe means “take!”. When I studies medicine they told us to write a prescription starting with: Recipe …. It is a recipe for the pharmacist and tells him what he should take and mix together. Nowadays perhaps it means “Take that out of the shelf and sell it”

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