No matter what your profession is, today, speaking English is an essential tool to take your professional career to another level. The area of ​​medicine is no exception, in fact, it is one of the most demanding with the use of language. For this reason, we suggest that you learn the following medical phrases and vocabulary in English.

But why does a doctor need to speak English? Let’s start with the basics. Today, much of scientific research is published in English. You will be surprised to know that about 80% of the studies published in scientific journals are written in English. Imagine the great amount of information and scientific innovations that you are missing simply by not knowing the language. This is not counting international congresses and conferences that require their participants to master English.

In addition, another advantage of learning English for a doctor is the possibility of working abroad or caring for patients whose mother tongue is not Spanish. There are numerous medical tourism programs that promote medical services from countries like Mexico, due to their high quality and low cost compared to other countries, from which only doctors with a good command of English can benefit. Needless to say, if you want to work in an internationally recognized hospital or a prestigious national clinic, knowing English may be the key to achieving your professional goals.

We know that for a doctor having a basic knowledge of the language may not be enough, scientific jargon and medical vocabulary in English can make learning the language seem even more complex. But don’t be discouraged, there are specialized courses in particular areas, such as business English, English for science and clear medical English, which can help you focus specifically on the most useful knowledge for your profession. In addition to multiple resources on the networks that can be of great help in your learning process and to show a button.

Here is the basic health English vocabulary that every doctor and patient should know:

Some phrases and medical vocabulary in English to use in a medical consultation:

How do you feel? How does it feel?
I feel sick/ill I feel sick
I would like to see a Doctor I would like to see a doctor
Where does it hurt? Where does it hurt?
What seems to be the problem? What is the problem?
How long have you had the symptoms? How long have you had symptoms?
We need to run some tests we have to do some tests
I am going to prescribe you antibiotics I’m going to prescribe antibiotics
It’s an emergency. Is an emergency
I am here for a check up I came for a checkup

Examples:

Doctor: What seems to be the problem?
Doctor: What is the problem?

Miss Andrea: My throat hurts a lot, I have also a bad cough and strong headaches
Miss Andrea: My throat hurts a lot, also a lot of coughing and severe headaches.

Doctor: For how long have you had these symptoms?
Doctor: How long have you had the symptoms?

Miss Andrea: Since two days ago, I guess
Miss Andrea: For two days I think

Doctor: It seems like you have a flu. I will prescribe you some aspirins also, make sure you get plenty of rests and drink a lot of liquids and please call me if the symptoms continue for more than three days.
Doctor: Sounds like you have the flu. I am going to prescribe aspirin, make sure you rest and drink plenty of fluids and please call me if symptoms continue for more than three days.

Miss Andrea: Ok, thank you Doctor.
Miss Andres: Ok, thank you Doctor.

Vocabulary for using the hospital:

waiting room Waiting room
Emergency Room Emergency room
syringe Syringe
Nurse Nurse
ambulance Ambulance
Surgery Surgery
Patient Patient
Consulting room doctor’s office

Examples:

Children are not allowed to spend the night in the hospital’s waiting room.
Children are not allowed to spend the night in the hospital waiting room.

After the accident the ambulance took them to the emergency room.
After the accident the ambulance took them to the emergency room.

The nurse will take you to the doctor’s office in a minute.
The nurse will bring you to the office in a moment.

Talking about diseases in English:

allergies Allergy
asthma Asthma
Cancer Cancer
chicken pox Chickenpox
Cold Cold
Cough Cough
Diabetes Diabetes
diarrhea diarrhea
fever Fever
food poisoning Food poisoning
fracture Fracture
heart attack Heart attack
haemorrhage Hemorrhage
infection Infection
injury Wound
sore throat Throat pain
stroke stroke, cerebral hemorrhage
sprain Sprain
STD (Sexually Transmitted Disease) sexually transmitted disease

English vocabulary about symptoms and complaints:

bleeding bleeding
Chill’s Shaking chills
chronic pain Chronic pain
dizziness Dizziness
fracture Fracture
Headache Headache
infection Infection
injury Wound
running nose rhinitis
Swelling Swelling
side effects Side effects
sore Pain
Stomachache Stomach ache
sweat sweat
Swelling Inflammation
vomit Threw up

Examples:

The injury caused him severe bleeding.
The wound caused intense bleeding.

Some of the treatment side effects can be dizziness, chills and light headaches
Some of the side effects of treatment may be dizziness, chills, and light headaches.

Every summer I get an allergy that causes me running nose and a chronic headache
Every summer I get an allergy that causes rhinitis and a chronic headache.

Medications in English:

antacids antacids
antibiotics antibiotics
band aids Band aids
caplets/tablets tablets
Cough drops Cough drops
injection Injection
sedative sedatives
pain killers Analgesics
prescription drugs prescription drugs
sedative painkillers

Medical treatments in English:

anesthesia Anesthesia
blood test Blood test
chemotherapy Chemotherapy
Complete blood count blood count
Diagnosis Diagnosis
Encephalogram Electroencephalogram
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Magnetic resonance
X ray X-rays
Medical examination Medical exam
prescription Prescription
Stitches Stitches
Test results Exam results

Examples:

We will not be sure of the diagnosis until we finish examining the blood test results
We won’t be sure of the diagnosis until we finish looking at the results of the blood test.

It seems like you fractured your arm, we will make some x-rays to make sure
Looks like he broke his arm, we’ll do an x-ray to make sure.

The results show that you have a throat infection, I will prescribe you some antibiotics. Do you prefer tablets or injections?
The results show that you have a throat infection, I am going to prescribe antibiotics. Do you prefer pills or injections?

Now, you have all the basic knowledge to communicate in English in a medical environment. Whether you are outside your country and want to visit a doctor, or you are a medical student or professional who wants to take your career to another level by learning to work professionally in English; Learning this basic English vocabulary will be very useful for you. Remember, if you want to take your knowledge of medical English to another level, do not forget to consult our offer of specialized courses available.

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