How do you communicate with a doctor and at the pharmacy in English?
We often use these expressions to explain a medical problem:
- My (head, arm, tooth, throat, chest, back, etc.) hurts.
- I have pain in my (head, arm, tooth, throat, chest, back, etc.)
- I have a bad cough and a fever.
And here are some typical vocabulary words we use at the doctor's office, pharmacy, and hospital:
Doctor: A professional who has graduated from medical school and passed exams to become a physician. Doctors diagnose and treat illnesses.
Physician: Another word for a doctor.
Nurse: Nurses also provide care, but are not qualified to diagnose illness or disease. They provide supportive care to patients who are treated by doctors.
Surgeon: A type of doctor who performs surgery or operations.
Hospital: A location where you go to get medical care.
Emergency Room (also called the ER): The part of the hospital where you go in an emergency, or a condition that needs immediate medical attention.
Intensive Care Unit (also called the ICU): The part of the hospital where you go if you need continuous medical attention.
Pharmacy: A place where you go to get your prescriptions, drugs, and medication (also called a “Drug Store”).
Pain: A feeling of intense discomfort (see the expression above to explain a medical problem).
Hurts: Similar to pain, hurts is a verb that describes an unpleasant sensation (see the expression above to explain a medical problem).
Prescription: A signed piece of paper from the doctor telling you (and the pharmacy) what drugs are appropriate for treatment.
Shots: Doses of medicine or vaccines given by a needle.
Exam: A procedure in which the doctor evaluates your condition.
Cast: Something you wear if you have a broken bone, so that the bone does not move.
Diagnosis: Your doctor’s decision about your medical problem.
Headache: A sore head (pain in your head)
Stomachache: A sore stomach (pain in your stomach)
Flu: A viral condition in which you may have a stomachache or symptoms similar to a cold (also called influenza).
Sore Throat: Pain in the throat
Bone Fracture: A situation in which one of your bones has broken.
Disease: A type of illness or sickness.
For important translations in English and French, here are two PDF documents for you to download:
If you have difficulty downloading the documents:
- Right-click on the document (cliquer à droite)
- Choose "save as . . . " (choisir "enregistrer sous . . .")
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