From the Author
Call it poetic justice. For the past five years I have crisscrossed the globe visiting
with government leaders and healthcare providers of countless nations in the name
of medical tourism. From Singapore to Brazil, I’ve site-toured more hospitals than
you can shake a stick at (and probably one too many radiology departments if the
greenish glow of my skin is any indication). I’ve seen everything a medical destination
has to offer and then some. Keynote speaker, globe trotter, road warrior, princess
of the skies; I am all of these. Yet few medical tourism destinations have impressed
me like the one in my backyard.
Miami is often called the “Gateway of the Americas” because of its proximity to
South America, Central America and the Caribbean. In fact, travelers from many of
these destinations can reach Miami in less than three hours. Best known for its
tropical weather, sun-swept beaches, Art Deco vibe and lively nightlife, Miami is
rapidly gaining a well-deserved reputation as a premier healthcare destination
A large concentration of top-rated hospitals and specialty centers cater daily to
patients from all over the world. Greater Miami is a world leader for many medical
and surgical specialties including organ transplants, eye disease, cancer, spinal
cord injury, reconstructive plastic surgery and Level 1 trauma and burn care. In
Miami, patients have access to the largest Neurosurgery ICU, the largest Neonatal
ICU and the largest pediatric intestinal transplant facility in the United States.
Whether you are from out of state or from abroad, you can expect personalized attention
and services customized to your specific needs. These include assistance with passports
and visas, travel, accommodations, emergency air ambulance services, coordination
of medical, hospital and diagnostic appointments, and language assistance from multilingual
In recent years, an increasing number of U.S. employers have begun to implement
what is referred to as domestic medical tourism in order to improve quality of care
and reduce employee healthcare costs. The premise (which has been proved at other
centers of excellence around the country) is that top-tired specialty centers can
provide better outcomes at lower cost, in part due to improved operational procedures
and processes gained from superior expertise. I believe Miami can become a prime
provider to this sector as it continues to promote its state-of-the-art healthcare
infrastructure and medical expertise to a growing market of medical travelers.
But Miami isn’t all about medical procedures and hospitals. Lest you fear your companion
will acquire carpel tunnel syndrome from 24/7 thumbing on the TV remote, think again.
There are golden eaches, water sports, the Everglades, shopping, museums, relaxing
spas, exquisite dining and exciting nightlife. The danger is you may never see your
companion! Whether your ultimate goal is to improve your health or simply enjoy
the many attractions Greater Miami has to offer, it is my hope that this guide will
serve as a roadmap for your journey.
Renée Marie Stephano
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