Travel Health Consultations Specialist

Travel health is a big concern these days, especially for those going abroad. James B. Cordell, MD, in La Jolla, San Diego, provides preventive services for those hitting the road tailored specifically for each person and destination. There’s a complexity to travel that most people fail to consider. Little things such as changes in altitude or temperature can affect overall health. Many countries require medical documents or vaccines, as well. Having a travel health assessment before taking a trip is one way to prevent unexpected problems.

Travel Health Consultations Q & A

What does the travel health service do?

Dr. Cordell and his staff work in a variety of ways with patients looking to travel. For starters, they review your medical history in search of flags that might point to a potential problem. This also serves as a valuable resource in case you have an accident or medical emergency while abroad. Dr. Cordell has all the necessary information bound and ready if a doctor in a faraway land needs it quickly.

Other services provided for travel health include:

  • A physical exam, if necessary
  • Immunizations
  • Yellow fever vaccine, if required
  • International Certificate of Vaccination

A large part of the service is patient education. Dr. Cordell will suggest precautions based on the destination, such as whether you should rely solely on bottled water or what foods to avoid while in a particular country.

Why does travel require a physical?

Not everyone needs a full physical exam prior to travel. Dr. Cordell may decide to do a physical if it's been awhile since your last one or if you’re a new patient. He may also want to rule out specific risk factors or screen for chronic illnesses that may be affected by travel, such as diabetes or heart disease.

Do all travelers need a yellow fever vaccine?

Not necessarily, but it is a requirement to enter many countries, and not all practices can give them. In general, it’s recommended when traveling to countries where this disease is common. Those change frequently, but Dr. Cordell will know based on the travel itinerary the patients that will need one. The World Health Organization keeps a list of countries where the vaccine is required or recommended.

What is an International Certificate of Vaccination?

This is a legal document many travelers must carry to verify they have had the proper vaccinations or prophylaxis to enter the country. Dr. Cordell must sign the document as proof of vaccine or prophylaxis, which is why his office issues them to travelers.

What is a prophylaxis?

This is a drug the doctor might give a patient to lower the risk of illness while traveling. For example, it's recommended that people take a malaria prophylaxis before entering or while traveling in certain countries. The goal is to reduce the risk of complications while outside the United States.

Will my insurance cover travel vaccines?

Most insurance companies do not cover travel vaccines and we do not bill insurance companies for Travel Health Services. We accept cash or credit cards for payment for Travel Health Services.


Our practice accepts most PPO plans and several commercial HMO and Medicare Advantage HMO plans.

We also accept Medicare assignment. This means that we accept the determination of Medicare about the charges for covered services. Medicare pays 80% of this fee after your yearly deductible. We accept almost all Medicare supplement plans, except Medi-Cal.

If you have any questions regarding insurance providers, please call our office.

Anthem Blue Cross
Blue Shield
United Healthcare

Words from our patients

  • RateMDs

    "Extremely knowledgeable and always very professional. Dr. Cordell is one of the finest doctors that I have met. I could not recommend him highly enough."

    Verified Patient
  • Vitals

    "I have been a patient of Dr. Cordell's for over ten years. He has successfully treated me for a number of severe illnesses, some of which could have been terminal."

    Verified Patient
  • Vitals

    "He continuously monitors my diabetes and doesn't hesitate to refer me to a specialist when needed. Staff is always courteous and helpful. I would highly recommend him."

    Verified Patient
  • Vitals

    "He listened very carefully and even drew diagrams to further explain my condition. I have confidence in him."

    Verified Patient
  • RateMDs

    "Got right in same day if needed and staff was very helpful with insurance... Doctor was excellent with great expertise."

    Verified Patient
James Cordell, MD
9850 Genesee Ave., Suite 430
La Jolla, CA 92037
Phone: 858-452-7320
Fax: 858-452-9276
Office Hours

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