Be Well San Miguel

Taking care of your healthcare needs in Mexico

Medical Care

We do not practice medicine but can help you find the best medical care available and assist you in making an appointment. We work with excellent physicians and care providers. Our understanding of their specialties and available technologies  ensures that you receive the best possible care.

In Home Nursing Care

We offer cost-effective home health services with a well-trained team of nurses, home health providers, respiratory therapists, and other professionals. We can locate and procure home health equipment such as beds, oxygen, toilet facilities, etc. A care team can be arranged for within 12 to 24 hours.


We prepare you for health emergencies, advising family and household what to do in an emergency. When you need urgent care or hospitalization in Mexico, we can:
• Help with admission process
• Remain at your bedside at key times
• Assist with discharge planning
• Provide post-operative medication advice


We provide health and medical education on the management of acute events, chronic conditions, and wellness care.

Care Abroad

We help you determine if you can safely receive care locally or need to seek care elsewhere.

Advanced Medical Directives

We help with advance directives and end of life decisions. As a designated patient advocate for legal advanced directives, we can assist in communication with concerned family members, friends, and community. Click here to find out more…


Our excellent bilingual assistants can translate documents for use by clinicians on both sides of the border.

Mediating Communication

Often it is confusing for family members when one is injured or ill in Mexico. We are experienced at helping loved ones make appropriate and helpful decisions.


Understanding your medication is vital to your overall health. We help you recognize and avoid potential side effects and drug interactions while simplifying your medication schedule.

The sick and the aged have priorities beyond merely being safe and living longer. (We must) sustain meaning in life and transform the possibilities for the last chapters of all of our lives.

- Dr. Atul Gawande -

Our Team


Deborah Bickel

As the founder of Be Well San Miguel, I use my knowledge and experience as an international health worker to ensure that the needs of each one of our clients is met with utmost professionalism, compassion, and confidentiality.

I am a graduate of the Stanford University Physician Assistant program and hold a Master’s degree in Public Health from the University of California at Berkeley. I have lived and worked in many countries including the United States, the Netherlands, Mexico, Guatemala, Cuba, Nicaragua, Zambia and Mozambique.

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I moved to San Miguel in March of 2014 and am delighted to call this community my home. Previously, I practiced medicine in a busy inner city clinic for nine years while teaching medicine at Stanford. I also did post graduate work in nutrition at the Tropical Institute in Amsterdam. I am fluent in Spanish and have practiced medicine in the United States, Mexico and Guatemala.

Now, after nearly 10 years working in the San Miguel community as a  patient advocate, my mission continues to be giving clients a voice, to understand their needs and provide valuable information to help them make informed decisions.

I have a particular interest in geriatrics and helping people choose the highest quality of living even when that may mean shortening our span of years but vastly improving our experiences moment by moment.

Phone : +52 (415) 115-7815
Email :


Dr. Emilio Ramirez

A very popular doctor and excellent colleague,  Dr. Emilio is a core part of our team. He most recently was appointed the Director of Joya Hospital. As a certified and highly experienced Emergency and Critical Care Physician, he is committed to ensuring that an ER physician is available at all times at Joya Hospital because, as everyone knows, in an emergency. TIME IS LIFE.

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Emergency Medicine is one of the most challenging medical specialties because it requires broad knowledge as well as the ability to manage acute medical crisis. These range from stroke, to cardiac arrest, gastrointestinal bleeding, complex trauma such as accidents, gunshots, stab wounds, fractures, head injuries, hypertension, complications related to diabetes, respiratory failure, coma and shock  among many others. To adequately prepare for this challenge the training and skills of an ER physician are much broader and deeper than for other specialty physicians.

The Be Well Team has worked closely with him for six years now and has developed a deep respect for his medical knowledge, his ability to recruit the finest specialists, and his commitment to the oversight of each and every Be Well patient.

We consult him or a specialist referred by him on all our patients when they are sick or injured. We have not had a single case in these many years of a complaint about his treatment of our patients nor the courtesy he shows everyone from fellow physicians to the other Be Well Staff and most especially his patients. If you get to know him very well you will find he has a great sense of humor and endless energy for being a fine physician.

Mobile Phone : +52 (322) 109 1414

Lic. Laura Miranda

Be Well is delighted to announce the addition of Ms. Laura Miranda to our support and advocacy team. Laura is a seasoned attorney and graduate of the esteemed faculty of law at the Universidad de Guanajuato, further honing her expertise with a Master’s degree in Public Administration from Tecnológico de México. Her specialization in mediation and dispute resolution brings an invaluable dimension to our services.

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Before embarking on her legal career, Laura gained valuable experience at the Tribunal Fiscal de la Federación and the government of Guanajuato, where she contributed to statewide education and training programs. Her dedication to social justice is evident in her subsequent tenure as a subdirector within the Ministry of Social Development from 2005 to 2015, where she spearheaded poverty relief initiatives.

In 2015, Laura established her own consulting services, catering to a diverse clientele ranging from civil organizations and private firms to hotels, local and external commercial markets, and real estate agencies. Her extensive experience and expertise have made her a sought-after advisor in the social and legal spheres.

Laura’s arrival at Be Well marks a significant expansion of our services, allowing us to provide comprehensive support that encompasses both legal and social aspects. Her expertise will be instrumental in enhancing our emergency planning capabilities, ensuring effective logistics, and bolstering our member and patient care activities. We are incredibly fortunate to have Laura on board, and we look forward to the invaluable contributions she will make to our team.

Phone : +52 (415) 115-7815
Email :



Be Well staff make every attempt to be available 24/7. When not available, we have clinical backup provided by MDs and nursing staff with a one bilingual staff member at all times. Please be assured that urgent circumstance will be attended to as quickly as possible. From its inception, our advocacy service has never failed to respond immediately to a patient in crisis.

Benefits & Fees

Our Annual Membership Plan includes the following benefits and services:

• A detailed initial intake, including complex medical and social issues, review of relevant laboratory and various imaging and other medical reports. This process can take up to three or more hours of time.
• Review of current medications and supplements for poly pharmacy and toxic interactions.
• Review of recent medical records from US, Canada or elsewhere, if available, to determine best care options, if any, in Mexico.
• Referrals to appropriate specialists or alternative care practitioners and help with appointments if needed.
• We work with you to develop an emergency plan tailored to your specific circumstances and a sample form with critical information for first responders, for you to post prominently.
• A 10% discount on general hospital services at Joya Hospital (exclusive of physician charges)
• Half hour free use of technical services from our non-medical advocate.
• Review of medical insurance status
• Review of standard health screening actions with recommendations tailored to client
• Review of Mexican documents to see if adequate in case of an emergency (i.e. wills, POA, living wills (Medical Directives))
• Entering your personal information into our files electronically shared by Deborah Bickel and Dr. Emilio Ramirez
• Rapid response to referral needs or advice. Appointments with one of our team members or urgent referrals can nearly always be scheduled within 24 to 48 hours.

All of our artwork is by Andrew Osta
Costs of membership and services

Annual Membership: 8000 pesos or USD equivalent.
Renewal: 7000 pesos.
Quarterly membership: 4000 pesos.
Couple rate: 12000 pesos.
Those on a fixed income are welcome to discuss fee reduction.

Membership services are provided upon payment. We prefer cash payment in pesos, but accept payment through Wise or PayPal with a 10% extra fee to cover exchange rate and processing. PayPal email is

If you are unable to keep an appointment for reasons other than illness, and do not give a 24 hours advance notice, we reserve the right to charge for your missed appointment. We expect fee-for-services payment at the time of service. A 10% surcharge applies if payment is delayed beyond 5 days.

Additional Services

We charge 1500 pesos an hour or fraction for members, 1700 pesos for non-members for:

* Assistance with documentation necessary for creating a medical directive legal in Mexico.
* Accompanying you to medical appointments and taking notes as needed.
* Consultations on particular medical problems, including plans and referrals.
* Translation in person for medical care or of Spanish-language documents
* Communication with family members.
* Assistance with medical billing issues
* Help with decisions regarding insurance and management of care between the US and Mexico.


Patient Advocacy

Deborah Bickel and Dr. Emilio Ramirez have decades of combined clinical experience and medical training that are put to use on your behalf. We don’t just provide information, we help you understand your important health and wellness options.

In the event of an illness or injury, finding an English-speaking physician may not be enough. Bilingual ability together a professional understanding of both US and Mexican medical services can dramatically improve the quality of care you receive in Mexico.

Medical practices can vary greatly from one country to another, For example, private practice physicians in Mexico are not required to keep patient records beyond the patient’s name and day of the visit. Having a fluent and medically capable advocate at such times will be critical to your continuity of care, your peace of mind, and the right outcome.

A short phone call will help us identify what your needs may be and is usually followed by an hour-long appointment to orient you to medicine, health and well-being in San Miguel de Allende.

Don't Miss Our Free Newsletter

Would you like to receive free health and wellness tips from dedicated professionals? Latest updates on virus outbreaks? Information that could be vital to your wellbeing? Then join our mailing list below. We will never share or sell your information. Note: you will receive a confirmation email that you must click before you are added to our list.


As members of your health care team, we are committed to the highest standards of professionalism and confidentiality. You may be absolutely confident that no personal information will ever be shared without your explicit permission.

Our Location

Our new location is Barrio de la Palmeta Privada de la Danza 1B


Always on our side

To Deborah Bickel, advocacy means working on behalf of the patient, not the doctor or facility. Be Well”s top priority is to make sure that each member’s desires are understood and laid out clearly and legally so that, if necessary, there is no confusion about what services to provide when called into action. 

Be Well helps us find the best medical care available in the area, helps us and our emergency contacts know what to do in case of an emergency, provides oversight to our health care if needed, and helps coordinate home health care if necessary. This can mean arranging for beds, oxygen, nurses, and other medical specialists. 

Working closely with Dr. Emilio Ramirez, an emergency room physician and specialist, and the new Director of Joya Hospital, Deborah and her team have the depth of knowledge and skill to handle all levels of medical emergencies. 

Laurie Lawson

Utilize Be Well, San Miguel’s many services wisely

I recommend that you utilize Be Well, San Miguel’s services wisely.  Before a major event occurs, discuss with them the best, most reasonably-priced hospital(s) you can use and salt-away as much money as you can for unexpected medical emergencies.  While you will not have the luxury of an insurance plan looking over your doctor’s shoulder, Deb and her crew provide the next best alternative, ensuring that the diagnosis is correct, lab tests accurate, and that you are using the best facility for that particular medical event.

Ava Wilson, founder of Boomers in Paradise

The Best!

I’d put myself in Deborah’s hands if it relates to health related issues in SMA

She’s the best!!

Ken Schleife

Be Well Staff was incredible

I had to take a friend to the hospital and called Be Well San Miguel to walk me through the process. Be Well Staff was incredible. A member came to the friend’s house, called the ambulance and we took him to UNIMED. Be Well has stayed on top of this situation and I can’t say enough good things about them. If ever you are in a medical situation and need help, I would highly recommend Deborah Bickel and Be Well.


Deborah is a blessing

Deborah’s talk at St. Paul’s made me choose her as my care manager. I also have some friends without adult children who will need a care manager in the future. Most of these children know nothing about healthcare in SMA and will need a care manager to advise. Having a savvy and qualified person like Deborah in our community is a blessing.


I can’t thank you enough.

Thank you,  for your newsletter… the messages are important.  I can’t thank you enough.

Robert Verbrugge 

Help available 24 hours a day

I have seen Deborah Bickel create a home care situation from the moment she encountered an elderly ex-patriot, English-only patient in the hospital after she was called in by a concerned community member. She contacted the family and found out their wishes, and assured them that someone would be with their father around-the-clock until the patient was able to care for himself.

When she arrived at the hospital he was severely confused and the Attending doctor spoke no English. She contacted the family in the United States and she organized immediate care in the hospital and after discharge personally accompanying him in the ambulance to home. She then organized home visits and around-the-clock care provided by an excellent team of bi-lingual Mexican nurses, doctors and other care-providers until the family could arrive from the United States. She arranged for non-nursing staff to provide food and ensure safety. Deborah made herself, and high-level physician care, available 24 hours a day, until the family arrived. Having Deborah available to us means that, before our family reaches us, we can get excellent and compassionate care.

San Miguel Resident

Deborah is an amazing advocate!

I have had health challenges from long covid, etc. since February. Fatigue, vertigo and overall weakness. With the guidance and directions to medical professionals and alternative treatments, I have improved significantly after a month of working with Be Well San Miguel, Deborah Bickel. There are so many services they offer. Next is to put into place the Advanced Directive. The one you have in the USA doesn’t work here in Mexico. Deborah is an amazing advocate with extensive knowledge of the medical system. I am so grateful that she was recommended to me by dear friends here in San Miguel.

San Miguel Expat

I can’t thank you enough

Thank you, for your newsletter on emergency preparedness last week.  It was a serious dose of reality, and the messages are important.  I can’t thank you enough.

Robert Verbrugge

Perfect Handling

Deborah has handled the most difficult health situations that you can imagine, often out of the goodness of her heart.    She is one of the most competent and compassionate advocates for ex-pat health that we are fortunate to have.  I highly recommend her services if you need someone by your side when you get sick in SMA—–whether it’s COVID or something else.

San Miguel Expat

So amazed and impressed!

I had the opportunity to see how Deborah Bickel works..and believe me, she is in a league of her own. I was so amazed and impressed how she handles herself. Her professionalism and her compassion are rare. As said by others, SMA is so lucky to have her. There is nobody in town whom I would recommend more highly!

Jackie Brummund

So Grateful

I  have had health challenges from long covid…  Fatigue, vertigo and overall weakness.  With the guidance and directions to medical professionals and alternative treatments, I have improved significantly after a month of working with Be Well San Miguel. There are so many services they offer.  Next is to put into place the Advanced Directive.  The one you have in the USA doesn’t work here in Mexico. Deborah is an amazing advocate with extensive knowledge of the medical system. I am so grateful that she was recommended to me by dear friends here in San Miguel.

Grateful Client

A great asset!

Deborah Bickel was a great asset…she stepped into the breach with great advice and on the scene presence.

John Hunger

The Best!

I’d put myself in Deborah’s hands if it relates to health related issues in SMA.

She’s the best!!

Ken Schleife

Our Blog
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June 1, 2023 Update Be Well is delighted to announce that we are working closely with a new San Miguel based group offering many new healing modalities. Discover Deep Wellness…

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Meditation, Psychedelics, Mortality: A conversation with Tara Brach and Roland Griffiths

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This is the December 2022 Newsletter for Be Well San Miguel Patient Advocacy Services sent to members and friends of Be Well.  In this issue, you will read about new…

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June 24, 2022 LONG COVID A friend of a friend, we will call him Mateo, recently passed away here in San Miguel at the relatively young age of 72. Over…

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