Unlike in many other countries, you are not obliged to register with a doctor in Germany, but you can choose your doctor yourself. In addition to general practitioners (Hausärzte), there are specialists.
If you have to consult a doctor it is best to ask acquaintances for advice. In general, it is advisable to go to a general practitioner first so that after a general examination, you can be referred to a specialist. Doctors prefer you to make an appointment. In acute cases or emergencies, the doctor will see you immediately or make an appointment for the same day.
If you have a German health insurance, you will get a plastic ID card which you need when visiting a doctor. This card contains your personal data.
With public health insurance, the costs for your medical care will be settled with your insurance company directly.
If you have a private insurance, you will receive a bill which you have to hand in to the insurance company. The amount will be reimbursed to your account by the insurance company.
Please check the conditions of your health insurance. There might be special conditions for the refund of the treatment expenses (e.g. dental treatment, medical check-up, etc.). Some health insurances are set up as co-insurances, which means that part of the treatment expenses has to be paid by yourself.
You may also ask at your embassy for information on doctors speaking your native language.
No medicine may be sold outside a pharmacy (Apotheke). Drug stores (Drogerien) or health food stores (Reformhäuser) carry some vitamin products, homeopathic medication, and herbal teas. In Germany, many more medications require a prescription, compared to other countries. Prices are comparatively high. Depending on your insurance (public or private), you will pay just a small fee or the full price.
For information on pharmacies that are open during the night in different neighborhoods, phone 030 / 31 000 31. At the main train station (Hauptbahnhof), you can find a branch that is open 24h/7d a week.