This is part 20 of the series Everyday English Conversation. This is about visiting the doctor. This has vocabulary, phrases and dialogues to listen and practice speaking. This is good for use in your classroom or at home.
Everyday English Conversation - At the doctor's office
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- Suddenly she felt a sharp pain in her neck / shoulder / waist / arm / leg / stomach.
- I can’t sleep because my head aches too bad.
- My elder sister is seriously ill in St John’s hospital.
- I feel very sick, I don’t think I can work today.
- I have a sore throat, I mustn’t take that cold drink.
- Our secretary missed a lot of work through illness last month.
- Peter’s uncle suffers from a rare blood disease.
- As I see it will take a long time for your wounds to heal.
- He was seriously ill for a long time, but the doctor cured him at last.
- There is no known cure for this illness but the it can be treated.
- Doctors apply various treatments for this illness.
- The blood test is used to diagnose all kinds of diseases.
- The doctors didn’t share every detail of the diagnosis with the patient’s family.
- They were lucky to escape the fight without serious injuries.
- He injured his finger when he was cutting the meat.
- He died from the wounds that he had received in the crash.
- He had such a deep cut on his arm that he was taken to hospital.
- He was covered in bruises at the end of the football match.
- She had a long scratch on her arm when she came out of the rose garden.
-Wash your hands carefully to decrease the risk of infection.
- My knee was twice the size of the other one due to the inflammation.
- You don’t necessarily need a doctor with symptoms like a headache or sore throat.
- I feel so weak, I think I have a temperature.
- Did you take aspirin to reduce the fever?
- I think I caught a cold on the ice rink yesterday.
- Please don’t visit us this week, the whole family has the flu.
- I’m afraid I’m pregnant; I vomit after getting up every morning.
- The doctor prescribed three kinds of medicine for me.
-My mum’s throat infection went away after she started the antibiotics.
- I had such a horrible headache last night that I took two pain killers.
- High blood pressure increases the risk of having a heart attack.
- The doctor started the examination with taking my pulse and blood pressure.
- They took x-rays of my knee to make sure it wasn’t broken.
- The doctor examined the patient very carefully but he didn’t find any disorder.
- I wanted to see a doctor but the surgery was closed.
- The doctor says I can hardly escape an operation.
operate on somebody (for something)
- He soon recovered after he was operated on for appendicitis.
- She felt nervous as she looked round the operating theatre.
-The doctor suggested to go to the chemist’s for the medicine straight from the
- Keep this prescription even though you don’t need the medicine now; you may
need it later.
Phrases at the Doctor’s Office
At the reception
I'd like to see a doctor
do you have an appointment?
is it urgent?
I'd like to make an appointment to see Dr …
do you have any doctors who speak …?
do you have private medical insurance?
have you got a European Health Insurance card?
please take a seat
the doctor's ready to see you now
how can I help you?
what's the problem?
what are your symptoms?
I've got a …
I've been feeling sick
I've been having headaches
I'm very congested
my joints are aching
I've got diarrhea
I've got a lump
I've got a swollen …
I'm in a lot of pain
I've got a pain in my …
I think I've pulled a muscle in my leg
I need …
some more insulin
I'm having difficulty breathing
I've got very little energy
I've been feeling very tired
I've been feeling depressed
I've been having difficulty sleeping
how long have you been feeling like
how have you been feeling
is there any possibility you might be
I think I might be pregnant
do you have any allergies?
I'm allergic to antibiotics
are you on any sort of medication?
I need a sick note
can I have a look?
where does it hurt?
it hurts here
does it hurt when I press here?
I'm going to take your …
could you roll up your sleeve?
your blood pressure's …
your temperature's …
a little high
open your mouth, please
Treatments and advice
you're going to need a few stitches
I'm going to give you an injection
we need to take a …
you need to have a blood test
I'm going to prescribe you some antibiotics
take two of these pills three times a day
take this prescription to the chemist
do you smoke?
you should stop smoking
how much alcohol do you drink a week?
you should cut down on your drinking
you need to try and lose some weight
I want to send you for an x-ray
I want you to see a specialist
Have an appointment with
Pull somebody’s record
In the meantime
Have a seat, please
Here we are
Take somebody’s vital signs
The doctor will be with you in a moment
run a fever
Physical check up
Suffer from insomnia
Change of ownership
It looks like
It may solve your problems
If the symptoms persist
Give a prescription
Be allergic to
Not to my knowledge
Stop by the laboratory on the way out
Draw somebody’s blood
The results will be available in two weeks
Don’t stress yourself!
Sentences & Questions
What to say at the doctor?
- I think you should see a doctor.
- You look very pale. Shall I call the ambulance?
- I’m ill. I don’t feel well. I need a doctor. I must see a doctor.
- Doctor Bulb’s surgery hours are from 9 to 12 every morning.
- Where do I find the GP’s office? (general practitioner – a doctor who is
trained in general medicine working in the local community)
- What are the consulting hours of the ENT (ear, nose and throat)
- Do I have to make an appointment?
- What’s the matter? Where’s the pain? What do you complain of?
- Have you taken your temperature?
- For how long have you been feeling ill?
- Take your clothes off. I’ll examine you. Let me take your pulse, please.
- I’ll measure your blood pressure.
- Your blood pressure is rather high. Your blood pressure is too low.
- Let me sound your back. Take a deep breath. I’ll check your lungs.
- Can I have a look? Where does it hurt?
- Does it hurt here? Breath out slowly.
- Show me your tongue. Poke out your tongue.
- Have you got any other symptoms?
- What infectious diseases have you had?
- What have you eaten/drunk?
- Have you been injured?
- Don’t worry. There’s no serious problem.
- I don’t think it’s too serious.
- You’ve got to be vaccinated against tetanus.
- You must stay in bed and take this medicine three times a day, after meals.
- I’ll dress the wound and put a plaster on your arm.
- You must follow a diet, you need to rest and you shouldn’t worry.
- Your test results have come in. The blood test came back negative.
- The biopsy shows a tumor.
- You should consult a specialist.
- We’ll know more in a few days.
- It would be better if you went to hospital.
- I think you’ll have to stay in hospital for a week.
- Hopefully there won’t be any complications.
- I don’t think you need chemotherapy.
- I’ll give you a prescription. Take this medicine three times a day / after
meals / an hour before lunch.
- You’ll soon be well again.
- Come back next week if you don’t feel better.
- I’ve got a high temperature.
- I feel really rough. I’m shattered / exhausted.
- Could you check my blood pressure? I’ve got high blood pressure.
- There’s a sharp pain here. I’ve got a pain in my limbs.
- I feel dizzy. I’ve got a kidney problem. I’ve lost weight.
- I always feel bad after meals. I’ve got a stomach ache.
- I’ve got a splitting headache. I often have nosebleeds.
- I have diarrhea. I’ve lost my appetite.
- I’ve got circulation problems. I sweat all night.
- My ears are buzzing. I’ve got an upset stomach.
- I’ve sprained my wrist/ankle. My hand / foot is badly swollen.
- I think I’ve pulled a muscle in my leg / arm.
- I’ve had scarlet fever / mumps / the measles.
- Is it something serious? Is this a common problem at my age?
- When will the tests results come in? Are you going to run more tests?
- Do I have to be operated on? Will I need surgery?
- How long do I have to stay in hospital?
- I hope there won’t be any complications.
- Could you prescribe some medicine for me?
- How often should I take this medicine?
- Shall I come back next week if I don’t get better?
Common Questions Your Doctor Might Ask You
What seems to be the problem?
How can I help you today?
What can I do for you?
How long have you been experiencing these symptoms?
Are you in pain?
Can you describe the pain?
Does the pain get worse when you do something?
Are you taking any medication for the pain?
What prescription drugs are you taking?
Do you have any allergies?
Are you pregnant? (if you are a woman)
Is that uncomfortable?
Does that hurt?
Common Directions or Instructions During an Examination
Lay down on the examination table / bed.
Squeeze my hands.
Relax your leg / arm.
Tell me when it hurts.
Stand and face the mirror.
Breath in (inhale), breath out (exhale).
Take off your pants / shirt / sweater etc.
Phrasal Verbs at the Doctor's Office
Here are some common phrasal verbs that you might hear while at the doctors
Please lay down on the examination table.
I'd like you to look up and then look down as I shine this light in your
You need to cut down on the amount of sugar you eat.
You can put on your shirt now.
Sit down here, while I write you a prescription.
You need to take better care of yourself.
How many times a week do you work out?
Making an appointment on the phone
Talking to the Doctor about Problems
Seeing the Doctor
Seeing a Doctor in an Emergency
Making a Doctor's Appointment
Discussing Test Results
Receptionist: Dr. Carter's Office.
Ronald: Yes, I'd like to make an appointment to see Dr. Carter, please.
Receptionist: Is this your first visit?
Ronald: Yes it is.
Receptionist: Okay. Could I have your name please?
Ronald: Yes. My name is Ronald Schuller.
Receptionist: And may I ask who referred you to our office?
Ronald: Uh, I drove past your office yesterday.
Receptionist: Okay. How about the day after tomorrow on Wednesday at 4:00 O'clock?
Ronald: Uh. Do you happen to have an opening in the morning? I usually pick up my kids from school around that
Receptionist: Okay. Um . . . how about Tuesday at 8:00 A.M. or Thursday at 8:15 A.M.?
Ronald: Uh, do you have anything earlier, like 7:30?
Receptionist: No. I'm sorry.
Ronald: Well, in that case, Thursday would be fine.
Receptionist: Okay. Could I have your phone number please?
Ronald: It's 643-0547.
Receptionist: Alright. And what's the nature of your visit?
Ronald: Uh . . .
Receptionist: Yes sir.
Ronald: Well, to tell the truth, I fell from a ladder two days ago while painting my house, and I sprained my ankle
when my foot landed in a paint can. I suffered a few scratches on my hands and knees, but I'm most concerned that
the swelling in my ankle hasn't gone down yet.
Receptionist: Well, did you put ice on it immediately after this happened?
Ronald: Well yeah. I just filled the paint can with ice and . . .
Receptionist: And so after you removed the paint can . . . Sir, sir, Mr. Schuller, are you still there?
Ronald: Well that's part of the problem. Uh, the paint can is still on my foot.
Receptionist: Look, Mr. Schuller. Please come in today. I don't think your case can wait.
Making an appointment on the phone
Talking to the Doctor about Problems
A: How are you doing today?
B: I've been having trouble breathing lately.
A: Have you had any type of cold lately?
B: No, I haven't had a cold. I just have a heavy feeling in my chest
when I try to breathe.
A: Do you have any allergies that you know of?
B: No, I don't have any allergies that I know of.
A: Does this happen all the time or mostly when you are active?
B: It happens a lot when I work out.
A: I am going to send you to a pulmonary specialist who can run tests
on you for asthma.
B: Thank you for your help, doctor.
A: What brings you to my office today?
B: I've been getting really short of breath, and my coach wanted to have a
doctor check me out.
A: Have you had the flu lately?
B: No, I have been pretty healthy. I just have trouble taking a really deep
A: Have you ever been tested for allergies?
B: Peaches make me break out, but I don't have any other allergies.
A: Does this happen all the time or maybe a little more in the cold
B: I've noticed that it is worse when I am under stress, like during finals
A: I feel that you should see a pulmonary specialist to check for asthma.
B: I appreciate the referral, doctor.
A: Good morning, how have you been doing?
B: I haven't been able to take a deep breath lately, and I need to know why.
A: Have you had any type of bug lately?
B: No, I've been feeling fairly good most of the time. It just is hard to breathe.
A: Has anyone ever told you that you have allergies?
B: No one has ever checked me for allergies.
A: Does this happen more when you are under stress?
B: When the weather gets really cold, it gets worse.
A: I am going to refer you to a pulmonary specialist who can run tests on you for
B: Thank you for pursuing this. I appreciate your help.
Doctor: — Good morning. Please have a seat here. What´s the problem?
Paul Ryefield: — I have a terrible stomachache.
Doctor: — Do you have diarrhea?
Paul Ryefield: — Yes, I do.
Doctor: — Do you have any other symptoms?
Paul Ryefield: — Yes, I feel sick.
Doctor: — You mean you feel nauseous?
Paul Ryefield: — That´s right. I feel like vomiting. And right now I feel dizzy, too.
Doctor: — When did the symptoms start?
Paul Ryefield: — This morning. Yesterday evening I ate something raw.
Doctor: — All right. Please take off your clothes to the waist and lie down
there. ... Just tell me if it hurts when I do this.
Paul Ryefield: — It doesn´t hurt. ... Ouch. It hurts there.
Doctor: — Okay. Let´s hope it´s just indigestion, but we´ll need to run some
diagnostic tests to be sure. We´ll run a blood test and we´ll also
need a urine sample.
Paul Ryefield: — Can you give me something for the time being?
Doctor: — Yes, I´ll give you a prescription for indigestion tablets.
Seeing the Doctor
A: I have been having a lot of headaches lately.
B: Have you been having these headaches for a long time?
A: I have had headaches my whole life, but they have been getting worse lately.
B: Have you been under a lot of stress lately?
A: I've been under stress, but no more than usual.
B: Have you been getting enough sleep lately?
A: No, I only sleep a few hours a night.
B: Have you had any head injuries lately?
A: Yes, actually I fell skiing last week and hit my head.
B: I am going to send you for a CT scan, and I will see you again when we see the
A: I have been getting headaches almost every day lately.
B: Have you just started getting a lot of headaches?
A: I never had very many headaches before, but the last few weeks I have been
getting a lot of them.
B: Have you had any unusually stressful situations in your life lately?
A: My mother just passed away last Tuesday.
B: I'm sorry. How about sleep? Are you getting enough rest?
A: I have been working really hard, and sleep has not been a priority.
B: Have you bumped your head or fallen lately?
A: No, I haven't hit my head.
B: I am going to send you to a neurologist for a few tests.
A: I have had some really horrible headaches lately.
B: How long have your headaches been going on?
A: I get headaches occasionally, but they have been really bad lately.
B: Any unusual amounts of stress in your life going on right now?
A: I am getting ready to take my GRE.
B: Have you been able to sleep regular hours?
A: It has been hard for me to sleep with a bad headache.
B: Has anything hit you in the head lately?
A: I hit my head on a cupboard door a week ago.
B: Let's have you come back in a few days and see how you feel.
Seeing a Doctor in an Emergency
A: I need a doctor's appointment right away!
B: Is this an emergency?
A: I am having trouble breathing.
B: Have you had a cold lately?
A: It has been going on for a few days now.
B: You should hang up and dial 911.
A: I don't think that this is that bad, but I need to see a doctor right away.
B: Is there someone who can drive you to our Urgent Care facility on Sunset
A: Yes, I can get a ride to Urgent Care.
B: Good. When you get there, a doctor will be able to see you right away.
A: I need to see a doctor soon!
B: Do you feel this is an emergency?
A: My chest feels tight, and I can't catch my breath.
B: Did this come on suddenly?
A: It started yesterday.
B: If you feel this is a real emergency, you should dial 911 for the paramedics.
A: I don't want to dial 911, but I want to see a doctor right now.
B: Do you have transportation to our Urgent Care facility on Sunset Blvd.?
A: My friend can drive me to Urgent Care.
B: That will work out well. Remember, if you have major problems, call 911.
A: I have to see the doctor right now!
B: What makes you feel this is an emergency?
A: I feel like I can't breathe well.
B: How long has this been going on?
A: It started last night.
B: In the event of a real emergency, please dial 911.
A: I know that I can dial 911, but I just want to go to the doctor now.
B: In that case, can you come to our Urgent Care facility on Sunset Blvd.?
A: My family can bring me to Urgent Care.
B: Come in right away, and they will see you as soon as possible.
Making a Doctor's Appointment
A: I need to make an appointment to see the doctor.
B: What seems to be the problem?
A: I have a rash that I need a doctor to look at.
B: Do you have a fever with that rash?
A: No, it just itches a lot.
B: I have openings on Tuesday or Wednesday. Which would be best for you?
A: I need an appointment on Tuesday.
B: Fine, I am putting you down for 9:00 on that day. Would you like to see Dr.
Smith or Dr. Jones?
A: I would like to see Dr. Jones.
B: I can schedule you with him with no problem. We look forward to seeing
A: Good morning, I would like to make a doctor's appointment.
B: Can you describe your health concern?
A: I have been having skin problems that aren't going away.
B: Are you in any pain?
A: No. Except for the rash, I feel fine.
B: Would Tuesday or Wednesday be best for you?
A: I would like to come in on Tuesday.
B: I will write you in for that day at 4:00. You can see either Dr. Smith or Dr.
A: I would like to see Dr. Smith.
B: I will write you in on that doctor's schedule. See you then.
A: I need to come in and see the doctor.
B: Are you scheduling a check-up, or are you ill?
A: I have really itchy skin and think I may have to have it looked at.
B: Have you been feeling any joint aches with that rash?
A: No, but I have a low fever.
B: I have times available for Tuesday or Wednesday. Which one would work
best for you?
A: I want to come in on Wednesday.
B: I can fit you in on that day at 10:00. Dr. Smith or Dr. Jones is available.
A: I would prefer Dr. Smith.
B: You can see the doctor of your choice then, and we will see you at your
scheduled appointment time.
Discussing Test Results
A: I was wondering if I could get my test results from the other day.
B: Yes, I would like to schedule an appointment for you to come in and talk
A: Is something wrong with me?
B: No, sometimes the test results aren't clear and we need to do more to get a
A: Can we talk about it now?
B: I would if I knew anything for sure, but I want to take a second look.
A: When can I come and see you?
B: You can come in this afternoon. If you would feel better, bring your husband
A: Now I know that something bad is up!
B: Just relax. We will talk about it this afternoon.
A: The nurse said that you might have my test results in from the other day.
B: I would like for you to come in and talk about a few more tests that I would
like to run.
A: Does this mean that you have bad news for me?
B: I just want to talk to you about the tests that I want to run.
A: Can't you just tell me now?
B: I don't know anything for certain. We always do a double check if there is a
A: I want to see you right away.
B: You can come in this afternoon. If you are feeling too stressed, feel free to
bring a friend along.
A: I know for sure that something is wrong!
B: Don't worry about a thing; we are just taking a second look and talking.
A: The lab said that you would be getting my test results in today.
B: I want you to come in and discuss some further tests that I would like to run.
A: I think that this is a bad sign.
B: For now, I would like to run a few more tests to look into some of the
problems that you mentioned.
A: Why wouldn't you tell me over the phone?
B: If there is any question about test results, we always do a recheck.
A: I need to come in right away.
B: I would be happy to see you this afternoon. If you are feeling upset, please
bring a friend or relative along.
A: You are scaring me!
B: Come on in this afternoon and we will talk. It will be fine!
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