How To Learn Medical English


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How To Learn Medical English

  1. 1. How to effectively learn Medical English Grzegorz Chodkowski (MD) Riga, Radisson SAS 2009
  2. 2. Information is POWER
  3. 3. Sisyphean challenge ?
  4. 4. "Never, never, never quit.“ Winston Churchill
  5. 5. Today’s Agenda 1. Medical Collocations 2. Medical vs. Colloquial English 3. Abbreviations 4. Internet resources / cultural context
  6. 6. Medical Collocations
  7. 7. fasting glucose muscle bulk child-bearing age elective surgery plain abdominal X-ray habitual abortion urinary incontinence paroxysmal vertigo temporary pacing surgical access draping intermittent claudication over the counter drug vomiting reflex
  8. 8. glikozes līmenis tukšā dūšā muskuĜu kūlītis reproduktīvais vecums plānveida ėirurăija Vēdera dobuma pārskata ieraduma aborts rentgenogramma urīna nesaturēšana pēkšĦi reiboĦi pagaidu mākslīgais sirds ritms operācijas pieeja pacienta sagatavošana operācijai pārklājot ėermeĦa daĜas ar steriliem mijklibošana pārklājiem bezrecepšu medikaments vemšanas reflekss
  9. 9. Medical vs. Colloquial English
  10. 10. A variety of Accents! In the UK 70% of the population Punjabi is used speak English by 1.3 million monolingually Scotland people in the UK 1% speak Gaelic (2001) Newcastle (Geordie) Northern Ireland 7% of the population speak Irish Yorkshire Liverpool (Scouse) Lancashire England East Anglian Birmingham (Brummie) Wales •East London (Cockney) 20% Welsh •London 100 immigrant Cornish (3,500) Languages (1979) ‘Queens English’ (Spoken by 2%)
  11. 11. Good Communication • Improves patient care • Creates a good rapport (relationship) with your patient • Use effective body language (eye contact) • Allow enough consultation time • Listen well • The GMC & NMC ‘Code of Conduct’ states: “always use language that your patient understands” - Avoid medical jargon
  12. 12. What the Patient says! • “Ooh, I’ve got really bad guts Dr!” = “I‘ve got pain in my abdomen” • “I’ve been puking for 2 days!” = “I’ve been vomiting for 2 days” • “I broke my collar bone 6 months ago” = “I broke my clavicle…..” • “I’m having trouble down below!” = “I’m having trouble with my genitals” • “I’ve been bleeding from my back passage” = “I’ve been bleeding from my anus”
  13. 13. What the Dr can say! • Instead of asking “please inhale” Say “please breathe in or a take a deep breath” • Instead of “administering an intra-venous Infusion” Give your patient “a drip” • Instead of asking “where does the pain radiate?” Ask “does the pain go anywhere else?” • Instead of saying “you need an endoscope” Say “we need to pass a tube with a camera into your stomach”
  14. 14. Anatomical Colloquialisms 1. Abdomen = ”belly, tummy, stomach, guts” 2. Umbilicus = ”navel, belly button, tummy button” 3. Axilla = ”arm-pit” 4. Sternum = ”breast-bone” 5. Anus = ”back passage, bum, hole” 6. Larynx = ”voice box” 7. Trachea = ”wind pipe”
  15. 15. Symptom Colloquialisms • Generally feeling ill = ”Feel sick, not well, poorly” • Diarrhoea = ”loose stools, the runs/trots, the shits!” • Pain = ”it’s sore, it hurts, it aches, it’s killing me!” • Vomiting = ”puking, throwing up, unable to keep anything down”
  16. 16. Symptom Colloquialisms • To be febrile = ”a fever/temperature, burning up” • Nasal discharge = ”snotty nose or runny nose” • Menstruation = ”period, time of the month” • Flatulence = ”farting, passing wind”
  17. 17. Symptoms tachycardia: fast heart rate palpitations: sensation of pounding, beating, fluttering paraesthesia: pins and needles oedema: swelling intermittent claudication: pain in legs whilst walking rhinitis: running nose nasal discharge: snuffles, snotty nose glossitis: a sore tongue menorrhagia: heavy periods
  18. 18. Things which are Taboo! Things that we are embarrassed to talk about usually have lots of colloquial phrases • Death “kick the bucket, snuff it, pass away, go to rose cottage, meet your maker, pop your clogs, etc” • Cancer “the big c, a tumour, a lump, a growth, or something serious” • Female Genitals ”down below, private parts, front passage”
  19. 19. Medical Abbreviations
  20. 20. How many ? 50 5 350 250 7250 1250 450 3250 750 950 550
  21. 21. tds, qds, qid, bid, od, om, ac, pc, nocte, stat, NPO FOBT, ABG, ESR, CXR, FBC, MSU, U & E, C&S, FBS, OGTT, HO, CC, HPI, s/b, w/o, d/c, c/o, DOE, DOA, NAD, WNL, TTA (TTO), NRM, VSS , AAO, ADR, BOM, FUO, FTT, DVT, LOC , PUD, VV, AI, DM, COPD, ACS, TKR, AKA, D&C, LP, TAH , UTI, AAD, IBS RTW, TBC, TCI,
  22. 22. Internet Resources
  23. 23. Last year medical student, medical blogger at and microblogger at I will start PhD in personalized genetics this year. I also give slideshows about web 2.0's impact on medical education and healthcare. I try to ease the work of physicians and scientists by recommending useful tools and sites and by presenting them the new world of web 2.0. I'm the founder of the first medical web 2.0 guidance service at and I launched the first university credit course for medical students that focuses on web 2.0 and medicine ( I've given lectures at several clinics and departments at the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Debrecen. I gave presentations at the Medicine Meets Virtual Reality Conference (Long Beach, CA in 2008 and 2009); at the University of Yale, School of Medicine, at the centre of World Health Organization, at the Medicine 2.0 Congress in Toronto or at the clinics of Greenwich, among others. Specialties Creating web 2.0 based medical/scientific sites, blogging, organizing information, communication and e-education.
  24. 24. Thank You! Any Questions?