Published On: Mon, Mar 10th, 2014

Medical Treatment the ‘Dr. Simi’ way

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MERIDA, YUCATAN.  We’re all familiar with the ubiquitous ‘Dr. Simi’ pharmacies, (“The same, but cheaper”) of which (according to their website) there are 76 locations in Mérida alone. Many of us have probably visited them to make purchases of aspirin, band aids, or other basic medical supplies. Have you noticed however that many of the locations have an onsite doctor, offering consultations for minor illnesses? If so, have you ever consulted ‘Dr. Simi’?

Early evening last Saturday, I was hit by a rapidly progressing food-borne illness. By 10.30pm, I was in something of a state of agony. What to do? Knowing that my local ‘Dr. Simi’ was open until 11pm, I proceeded to the consulting room. Happily, upon my arrival there were no other patients, and I walked right in to the doctor’s office. I was pleasantly surprised to find a young doctor who spoke excellent English, and who in 10 minutes was able to determine the likely cause of my affliction (an infamous bacteria), and recommend two options for treating it. Having selected my preferred option, a prescription was written. The cost of the consultation? $50 pesos. And that was including a $15 peso weekend surcharge! The chosen medication was an additional $70 pesos at the 24 hour onsite pharmacy.

72 (unpleasant) hours later, I had made a full recovery.


This was my first ‘Dr. Simi’ experience, so I cannot say how typical it was, and your chances of finding a doctor fluent in English in attendance may vary. For an urgent but ‘minor’ issue however, the ‘Dr. Simi’ way, could be the way to go.

If you have had a ‘Dr. Simi’ experience yourself that you would like to share, please tell us about it in the comments field below.

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And now, to more pleasant topics…

The Mérida Music Festival at Hacienda Dzibikak is only 3 weeks away. Do you have your tickets yet? See TYT report here: for more information and where to buy your tickets.

Mark, co-owner of Canada Burger is in town, working with Scott until Tuesday. If you haven’t been to Canada Burger yet, stop by and say hello to them and sample what is rapidly becoming a Mérida institution!

By Stewart Mandy

Questions or comments? Let us hear from you below, or send an email to

Stewart Mandy

Stewart Mandy


Born in Europe, raised in the Middle East, and a long-time resident in the Americas, Stewart has been based in Mérida, Yucatan since 2010, and has lived and worked worldwide in the media, travel, tourism and transportation industries for well over 20 years. His local contacts and global knowledge provide him with unmatched access to the stories ‘behind the stories’ and he likes to take you to the places that others don’t or won’t go. From the Arctic Circle to Tierra del Fuego, from Moscow to Melbourne, from Bergen to Buenos Aires, Stewart has been there. Chances are, wherever you are heading, he knows the score.


In addition to The Yucatan Times, Stewart contributes (or has contributed) to “The Examiner” (, “Business Briefings”, “Cruise & Ferry Magazine” and “The Apollo Magazine”. He is a former editor of “rolling pin CRUISE” magazine.

He can be contacted by email at or


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  1. I have been using the Semi option in many cities in Mexico for years. It is nothing new and always surprised when someone is just finding it now.
    My last experience was two days ago for a bad infection on the finger and nail. This young doctor spoke a little english–but what he didn´t know, he quickly found on his cellular. It was my most expensive visit ever at 100 pesos. But that included the doctors fee a little surgery with pain medication and dressing the wound. He gave me 3 medicines and they were a grand total of 85 pesos. I have also used the local Semi analysis lab with very professional service at a low price.
    I often have trouble remembering the doctor´s hours at the
    location near me so often go to the center where I can always find a doctor available.
    Highly recommended.

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