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Sometimes we don't feel well and need to go to the doctor's. When this happens, it's especially important that we know how to communicate what is wrong so that the doctor can help us.

In the tables below, we've collected lots of useful phrases that you will hear as well as be able to use when at the doctors. Take a look at them and feel confident next time you need English at the doctor's!

At the Reception

When you first arrive at the doctor's you'll need to give your name, the reason for your visit, and show your insurance information. The phrases below will help you do this!
Good morning, how can I help you today?
I'd like to see a doctor.
I'm here for a check-up.
Do you have an appointment?
I have an appointment at 2:00.
I'm here to see Dr. Richards.
Could you fill in your medical history on this sheet, please?
Please have a seat.
The doctor will be with you shortly.
I have an appointment at 2:00
If you need to tell someone when you have an appointment for something, then use the sentence pattern I have an appointment at + TIME. Depending on who you are talking to, there are lots of ways someone could respond. For example, if you told a receptionist at the doctor's office when you have an appointment, they might say something like Ok, please take a seat.
Could you fill in your medical history on this sheet, please?
In the United States and other countries, it's always a good idea to show up early for a doctor's appointment. The reason for this is because you usually have to fill out different forms before you can see the doctor. You get these forms when you check in at the front desk.

Questions From the Doctor

Once you finally meet with a doctor, you'll need to be able to explain what's wrong and talk about any medication you might be taking. Have a look at the questions below, which are common questions that you'll need to be able to answer.
What have you come in for today?
What symptoms have you had?
When did the fever start?
How long have you been feeling like this?
Have you been taking any medication?
Are you on any sort of medication?
Do you have any allergies?

The Examination

After the doctor has an idea of what's wrong, they'll begin their examination. You'll most likely hear some of the phrases below during an examination.
Where does it hurt?
Does it hurt if I press here?
Could you open your mouth, please?
I'm going to take your blood pressure.
Your heart rate is normal.
Could you cough, please?
We need to take an x-ray.
We have to take a blood sample.
We need to take an x-ray
The sentence pattern We need to + ACTION is one way doctors tell what they are going to do during an examination. If you want to respond, then you could ask a follow-up question. Here is a possible way to respond to our example sentence Do you think I broke something?.
We have to take a blood sample
During an examination, doctors will often use the sentence pattern We have to + ACTION to say what they are going to do. You could respond by asking a question like What for?.

Treatment

After an examination, a doctor will usually suggest some sort of treatment. Here are some examples of what he might say to you.
I'm going to give you an injection.
I'm going to prescribe you some medicine.
I want you to see a specialist.
You should stop smoking.
If it gets worse, call me.
You should be better in a few days.
I'm going to give you an injection
Doctors often use the sentence pattern I'm going to + ACTION to tell what they will do as part of treatment for an ailment. In response, you could ask questions like What is that for?.
You should stop smoking
Doctors suggest different ways to help treat an ailment by using the sentence pattern You should + ACTION. There are lots of ways you could respond depending on what the doctor says. For example, you could ask follow-up questions or say something like I will try to.

Leaving the Doctor's Office

Before you leave the doctor's, you'll need to stop by the front desk one more time to check out. Here you'll be able to make another appointment or ask general questions.
Do you need to make another appointment?
Do you need a doctor's note?
Please call us if things get worse or if you have any questions.
Feel better soon!
Do you need a doctor's note?
A doctor's note is an official note from a doctor's office. It explains that you were at the doctor's, and can often be used to excuse you from things like work or school.

Relax while Listening to the Phrases

Keep calm and learn English! Listen to the phrases again with relaxing background music. This will help you improve your listening skills and remember the phrases. Choose your favorite style, then kick back and relax!


Relax with Meditative Music



Relax with the Sounds of Nature: River



Relax with the Sounds of Nature: Wind

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Practice & Record a Dialogue

Take the next step and use what you’ve learned! Check out this topic’s dialogue unit and practice the phrases in a variety of exercises. Test your knowledge and get ready for real life conversations!
Good afternoon. What have you come in for today?en
I have a bad cough and a fever.en
When did the fever start?en

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the most essential English phrases I should know when at the doctor's?
  • Do you have an appointment?
  • I have an appointment at 2:00.
  • What symptoms have you had?
  • How long have you been feeling like this?
  • Are you on any sort of medication?
  • You should stop smoking.
  • If it gets worse, call me.
  • Do you need to make another appointment?
What is medical English?
Medical English is a very technical form of English that is generally only used in the medical field. So it's not really necessary to learn medical English unless you want to be a doctor. Otherwise, you will have to make yourself understood with just a few phrases, like the ones in the tables above, as well as some key vocabulary. If you are at the doctor's and don't understand what you are being told, don't be afraid to ask questions!
What are the main aspects of going to the doctor's?
Going to the doctor's is like a process with many stages. First you have to make an appointment with a doctor. This is usually done over the phone or online. On the day of your appointment you first check in at the front desk where you will fill out paperwork and show your insurance card. Afterwards you will go in for your examination with the doctor. At the end of the examination the doctor will then suggest some kind of treatment. Finally, before you leave you usually have to check out at the front desk and arrange any further appointments with the doctor if necessary.

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