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.”
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.