Monday, 29 April 2013

Doctor - Patient Communication, Stage 3 - Examination (Giving Instructions)

We are happy to present the third in our 'doctor-patient communication' series.
Each patient case history is broken down into 5 key stages:
3. Examination - Giving Instructions
4. Investigations & Treatment
5. Follow-up

After taking a history Dr Jones is ready to perform a physical examination. This usually requires giving the patient precise instructions to do the following things:
  • to remove different items of clothing
  • to perform certain physical functions (deep breathing, coughing, sticking out a tongue etc)
  • to get into a particular position (lying face up, sitting, lying on the left side etc)

After you have watched the video take the 10-question comprehension quiz below:

If the above quiz box doesn't load, click here: Stage 3 - Examination & Giving Instructions (abdo pain) » Make A Quiz

Click the image below to download the transcript:

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Doctor - Patient Communication, Stage 2 - Taking a History

We are happy to present the second in our 'doctor-patient communication' series.
Each patient case history is broken down into 5 key stages:
2. Taking a History (PMH, DH, FH, SH)
4. Investigations & Treatment
5. Follow-up

Following on from the opening exchange, Dr Jones asks Jim more questions about the following:
  • Past Medical History (PMH) - significant medical conditions (heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, etc) in the past and present, and any surgery/operations  in the past
  • Drug History (DH) - current and recent medication, any history of allergies
  • Family History (FH) - significant medical conditions of close/immediate family such as parents, siblings (brothers & sisters) and children
  • Social History (SH) - can include lifestyle factors such as smoking, alcohol intake, marital status, occupation, diet, exercise, substance abuse/recreational drug use, sexual activity and home circumstances

After you have watched the video take the 10-question comprehension quiz below:

If the above quiz box doesn't load, click here: Stage 2 - Taking A History (abdo pain) » online testing

Click the image to download and print out the box order exercise:

Monday, 18 March 2013

Doctor - Patient Communication, Stage 1 - The Presenting Complaint

We are happy to present the first in our 'doctor-patient communication' series. 
Each patient case history is broken down into 5 key stages:
1. Welcoming the patient and the Presenting Complaint (PC)
4. Investigations & Treatment
5. Follow-up

The first case is about Mr Smith who goes to see his General Practitioner (GP) due to a 1-month history of abdominal pain. Listen and read the key phrases used when asking about the patient's 'presenting complaint' (PC). You will also hear the 8 questions used to ask specifically about pain (see the previous post about the SOCRATES pain assessment tool).

After you have watched the video take the 10-question comprehension quiz below:

If the above quiz box doesn't load, click here:
Stage 1 - The Presenting Complaint (abdo pain) » Quiz Maker

Click the image to download and print out the gap fill exercise:

Click here to download the full transcript

Click here for 'Stage 2 - Taking a History'. 
Thanks for everyones help and constructive comments in making these learning resources. They are greatly appreciated.

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

The Hot Toddy

Well it’s that time of year again when almost everyone around has been struck down by the dreaded seasonal flu or common cold. You know how debilitating the relatively minor classic symptoms (headache, runny nose, sore throat, productive cough, general aches and pains and fatigue) can be. But in our moment of suffering and desperation, which remedies do we depend on to ease our suffering?

There are lots of remedies about both old and new. Depending on who you listen to (the advert on the TV or your mother), some will say plenty of rest, lots of fluids, vitamin C, or an antipyretic such as paracetamol. I discussed this with one of my students recently. She is studying medicine in Poznan and she strongly recommended a shot of vodka with lemon and other interesting ingredients mixed in. This reminded me of when i was sick as a child and my mother would give me a hot toddy. She would prepare a mug of hot water mixed with a wee dram of whiskey, honey and some form of soluble aspirin or paracetamol and I remember how it made me feel safe, warm and cared for. Interestingly enough my student said that she would use a hot toddy to treat herself, but wouldn't prescribe such treatment for her future patients. There are ethical issues here of course, even if prescribing alcohol is for ‘medicinal purposes’. According to the American Lung Association you should “avoid any drinks that contain alcohol.” Alcohol causes dehydration which can delay the healing process.

Why does a hot toddy seem effective?

As far as we know there is no medical research to support the benefits of a hot toddy. If you know of any then please feel free to share it. But so many people claim that it works for them (lots of anecdotal evidence).  But nowadays if it isn't ‘evidence based medicine', then it shouldn’t be used. Felicity Cloake, a writer for the Guardian, who specialises in food and drink describes the hot toddy as a wonder drug, stating, "The heat, spice and sweet and sour flavours apparently encourage mucus production, discouraging the advance of those pesky bacteria and viruses, while the booze helps you sleep. (In moderation, of course. All things in moderation.)"

Just like it made me feel warm and cared for, it's probably more likely to be linked to the phenomenon that is known as the placebo effect. Simply put, if you believe something will help you then there is a strong chance that you will feel some positive effects. It is all linked to your beliefs and expectations, which can be strongly influenced by things like the environment in which the treatment is given and even the manner of the person who is administering it. My mother always had (still does) a wonderful bedside manner. For more reading into the powerful world of the placebo effect, a field of medicine which is generating a lot of solid research to confirm it’s power and reality, check out Dr Kaptchuk and his team in America. It's fascinating stuff. We’ll look at the placebo effect and related groundbreaking research in a later post.  Until then 'bottoms up!'.

Did you know?
  • Adults get an average of two to four colds per year, mostly between September and May.
  • Young children suffer from an average of six to eight colds per year.

Medical Vocab Builder

  • struck down (phrasal verb) = to develop an illness/disease/sickness
  • debilitating  (adjective) = when something stops a person from performing regular everyday activities
  • antipyretic (noun) = medication which reduces a high temperature/pyrexia/fever
  • hot toddy (noun) = check out wikipedia's explanation
  • soluble (adjective) = a substance which dissolves in water
  • medicinal purposes (common phrase) = something which is said to help an illness, but this expression is more often used when a person is jokingly looking for an excuse to drink alcohol
  • evidence based medicine (medical jargon) = treatment which has been proven by testing, clinical trials and research
  • anecdotal evidence (common phrase) = when the experience of a person indicates to them personally that something is true
  • pesky (adjective) = annoying
  • booze (noun) = colloquial word for alcohol
  • bedside manner (common phrase) = when a person is good at making a patient feel better by the way they act
  • bottoms up (common phrase) = colloquial expression used by people sharing a drink of alcohol, 'cheers' or 'good health' are also sometimes used

Now take the quiz below to check your understanding:
If the window below doesn't load then please click refresh or click here.

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Free Medical English Materials

Up until now, we have taught medical English to all types of healthcare professionals including GPs, physicians, pathologists, neurologists, nurses, midwives, pharmacists, physiotherapists and medical students from around the world, mainly in Poland but also to students in countries such as Italy, Libya and Taiwan using Skype.

We have developed a 12 module medical English course which works for all healthcare professionals, but from time to time our clients have more specific learning needs and therefore require specific learning materials. For example, we developed a 'primary care communication course' specifically for a Polish GP who wanted to work in the UK in order to feel confident and comfortable speaking with his patients.  Another client who was a pathologist needed to look specifically at the language used to talk about malignant melanoma in order to pass her oral English exam which was part of her specialist training.

free & unique medical English materials
If you would like to download free samples of our medical English learning materials including worksheets and mp3 communication files then check out the resources page on our website.

If you would like us to prepare a specific medical English course then you can contact us at, on skype (username = realmedicalenglish) or via our contact page on our website.

Medical Vocab Builder
  • GP = General Practitioner also known as a family doctor or primary care physician
  • midwife (singular) midwives (plural) = a health professional who provides care to women throughout their pregnancy, during the ante natal period, labour and birth & postpartum period 
  • malignant = normally refers to cancerous cells

Friday, 7 September 2012

Cinema Junkie

A funny thing happened to us at the cinema recently. Having bought our tickets, my wife and i headed to the auditorium, where we had our tickets checked, received our 3D glasses as expected, along with 2 free samples of 'anti-flatulence' medication, which was quite unexpected. Now i know it was nothing personal because they were being given to everybody, but there is just something in this which just doesn't sit comfortable, like a bad case of wind.

There has been a lot written about the powerful and negative influence of pharmaceutical companies in healthcare, particularly over doctors prescribing habits and indeed ourselves as patients. If you are suffering with a headache, then what do you do? Do you simply have a quiet lie down for half an hour in a darkened room, or do you head straight for the medicine cabinet and pop a couple of pain killers? When you visit the doctor it always feels more justified if you walk away with a prescription for something, and adverts are all around us encouraging us to buy medication for conditions such as period pain, prostate problems and acid reflux. The question is do we really need these substances and their physiological effects, and are we too keen nowadays to pop a pill for the slightest symptom, be it a headache or a bad case of gas?

Without exposing the pharmaceutical company and the trade name of the product in question, the generic or chemical name of the drug is simethicone. Simethicone is an 'over-the-counter' or OTC preparation. This means that you don't need a prescription from a doctor for it. It is an 'anti-foaming agent' used to break down all the little bubbles of gas in your stomach and intestines into much bigger bubbles, which helps to release gas quicker in order to relieve bloating and excess wind. It allegedly has no side effects but people with any pre-existing conditions or allergies and women who are pregnant or breast feeding should seek advice from a doctor before taking it. It is also sometimes used in the manufacture of some detergents when "foam is not desired". Great on a first date i imagine as you are just about to get all romantic in the back row of the cinema when all of a sudden, "look out, there she blows!"

But is farting in the cinema really a major problem in society? Is there actual evidence to suggest that flatulence increases during cinema visits?  Maybe it could be the stress of the first date with that girl that you've being trying to impress for months. When the one thing you want to behave itself is your digestive system, but oh no, the unique conditions of  a darkened cinema auditorium has tricked your bowels into thinking that its safe to let loose, resulting in waves of smelly farts. Perhaps its the super-size barrel of coke and bucket of popcorn and nachos that people normally consume, because the larger deal just always makes more economic sense than the medium deal, even though the small deal is so expensive in the first place. Another strange cinematic phenomenon. You know consuming so much salt and sugar isn't healthy, but how can you watch a film without popcorn?

So the final question is this; is it ethical for pharmaceutical companies to give out free medication in public places, increasing our desire for pills, tablets and other forms of medication? Thinking about it, there have been a few awful films i've been to in the past when a couple of sedatives might have come in rather handy.

Medical Vocab Builder

  • junkie (noun) = very colloquial term for a person addicted to drugs, usually illegal drugs such as heroin
  • flatulence (noun) = when a person has gas in the stomach or bowels
  • wind (noun) = colloquial term for flatulence, "doctor, i'm passing wind more than usual recently"
  • pop (verb) = colloquial term to take pills or tablets by mouth
  • acid reflux = a medical condition in which contents (food or liquid) leak backwards from the stomach into the oesophagus. Also known as heartburn, dyspepsia and 'Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease' (GERD)
  • intestine (noun) = the main part of the digestive system divided into the small intestine (duodenum, jejenum & ileum) and the large intestine (colon), where food is broken down and absorbed
  • bowel = synonym and more colloquial term for 'intestine'
  • bloating (noun) = swelling of the stomach or intestines caused by fluid or in this context gas
  • fart (verb) = a very colloquial term to release gas from the intestines via the anus
  • sedative = a medication or drug used to calm a person or make them sleep

Make your own contribution to medical research.  Visit our Real Medical English facebook page to answer the following question "have you ever suffered from increased unexplained bloating or flatuelence as a result of a trip to the cinema?"

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

An Individualised Approach

When i started my nurse training almost 20 years ago now, we were introduced to the concept of caring for our patients as individuals and so to provide them with 'individualised' care.  This was a time when nurses in the UK were beginning to think of themselves more as professionals and there was a real desire to move away from the old fashioned 'task-based' style of nursing.  This was when nurses would go from bed to bed to change dressings one after another or to attend to each patients hygiene needs around the same time, and in some cases to 'toilet' patients at the same time!

Every person is indeed an individual and so every patient is an individual with their own unique physical needs, psychological needs, social needs, spiritual needs, fears, thoughts and expectations.  Nursing models such as Roper, Logan & Tierney gave nurses a platform to be able to provide such individualised care.  Their 'activities of living' model is based on the idea that everyone performs 12 key functions on a daily basis, such as breathing, mobilising, and maintaining a safe environment in order to live.  This model allows nurses to assess each function in turn, from which a very personalised plan of care based on a patients individual needs is designed in order to get the best results.

This is a professional approach which has never left me.  When i started teaching English 5 years ago, i quickly realised that teaching large groups in the classroom was quite similar to the 'task-based' style.  A kind of 'factory production line' style of teaching English.  This makes it difficult to give each student quality time and attention to focus on their individual strengths and weaknesses in order to construct a more accurate 'learning plan' by which they can gain confidence and ultimately improve their English skills faster.  This was when i began to develop my own 'real English' philosophy.  Not all students want to learn grammar, whilst some want lots of grammar exercises. Some students only want to talk for the whole lesson and to be frequently corrected when necessary. Some students actually need personalised worksheets and other learning materials designed especially for them. Some students don't want to sit in the artificial environment of a classroom talking about subjects such as how to survive in the jungle with 14 other people, but would much rather meet in a cafe or at home, or via the internet for a one-to-one chat about politics over a nice cup of tea.

For me confidence is vital for anyone who wants to learn another language, so when my students sit with the knowledge that each lesson has been designed based on their needs, they always feel more comfortable and ultimately more confident and improvement always happens much faster.

For more details about us, visit our 'about us' page on our website.

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Medical Terminology - The Building Blocks

Learning medical English can seem a little overwhelming to begin with.  There is of course a lot of specialised medical vocab to get to grips with and some rather tongue twisting pronunciation.  I mean, just how do you pronounce the word anaesthetist? (click the link to the cambridge dictionary and click the red and blue icons to listen how).  I've been trying to get my head round this one for years!

Non-colloquial medical terminology contains a range of specialised vocab, used by health care professionals, to formally describe the human body (anatomy), medical conditions, medical procedures, fields of medicine and some items of medical equipment.

The fact that medical English boasts the longest word in any English dictionary suggests that the road to having a solid medical knowledge base could be a hard one. This is not the case. The aforementioned word is 'pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis', try saying that one when you've had a few piwos!  But what exactly does it mean and are all of the 45 letters absolutely necessary? Don't panic folks!  It's very unlikely that you'll hear this word used in everyday medical English. The Oxford English Dictionary describes the word as 'factitious' or 'made up', but its existence highlights a very important point, and that is of course, how medical words are constructed.

A lot of medical words originate from Latin or Greek and are made up of 3 very important components or building blocks.

1. Prefixes (are added at the beginning of a medical word and add extra information such as position, description and quantity)
2. Roots (are the main part or stem of the medical term and can be found at the beginning, middle or end of a word.  They mainly refer to bodily parts and processes, but also to colour, substance and description)
3. Suffixes (are attached to the end of a medical word to add meaning such as condition, disease process or surgical procedure)

So lets try it out.  How about the word dysuria for example, well if we know that dys- means difficulty (with something) and the suffix -uria denotes urine, then we can quickly work out that this is the term used when a patient complains of difficulty passing urine.  If a patient has blood in their urine then we call this haematuria, haem meaning blood.  Of course the study of the blood is known as haematology as the suffix -ology means the study of a particular field or subject.  A pattern begins to form.

So how about our lengthy friend pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis?  
Well, lets break it down.
pneumo = air/lungs
ultra = very/extreme
micro = small
scopic = see
silico = silicon
volcano = volcano
coni = dust
osis = functional disorder/disease

In other words it's a lung disease caused by breathing microscopic silicon dust found near volcanos.  Why are people so close anyway?  "Look out she's gonna blow!"

So how do you get to grips with it.  Believe me, learn the most common components and you'll be creating real medical words before you can say, "Sorry Mr. Jones, but i'm afraid we'll have to perform a sigmoidoscopy!"

You can find useful lists of prefixes and suffixes (known collectively as affixes) and medical roots on the internet.  The lists are usually quite long so we have put together the most commonly used, from our extensive hands-on experience in health care, and created 3 very useful worksheets, which once completed and learnt confidently, will give you a solid foundation to base your medical English knowledge on.  You could even create your own just like Everett M. Smith did with his 45 worder back in 1935.  Download our free terminology worksheets in order to learn the most common roots and affixes. Happy creating and learning :)  Any feedback is warmly welcome.  Check out our website for more free learning resources.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Medical Abbreviations - Prescription Writing

There is usually so much clinical information to pass on between colleagues that it's probably no surprise to find a multitude of medical abbreviations, medical jargon and shortened terms in everyday use.  You can see why, "quick pass me the defib", makes more sense than,  "quick pass me the defibrillator".  Time is vital in an emergency situation and every second counts.  Or how about "his sats have dropped", instead of "his oxygen saturation has dropped".  Its just so much easier to say.

Learning medical abbreviations can pose a few problems. You only have to look on the internet or in most medical terminology books to find lists as long as your arm. Many abbreviations are used in prescription writing and in the language used when administering drugs or medicine.

so much info, so little room
The process of writing safe and effective prescriptions (scripts) requires a lot of important information such as drug name, drug dosage, frequency of administration, route of administration, start date, and prescriber's name.  Anyone who has seen a hospital drug kardex will know that that they don't leave much room for all of the above information, and if you are the admitting doctor required to write up (prescribe) 15 different drugs, then its understandable why so many abbreviations are used.

The following are the most commonly used:
From 'statim' meaing 'immediately'.  Stat doses are usually given in emergency situations.   You'll hear this a lot on ER.  "Give him a stat dose of narcan and monitor his breathing".

From 'pro re nata' meaning 'in the circumstances' or 'as and when required''PRN' prescriptions are forward thinking and proactive.  If a patient is admitted with a condition that has or may develop symptoms such as a fever, nausea, vomiting or pain, nurses are able to give such drugs without asking the doctor to come and write it up.

You'll see this collection of abbreviations when referring to the frequency of drug administration.   
OD = Once a day, BD = twice a day, TDS = three times a day, and QDS = four times a day.

These abbreviations refer to the route of drug administration.  PO is said and written when administering tablets, capsules or fluids orally or by mouthPR is used when you you need to give an enema or suppository rectallyPR is also used when a doctor needs to perform a DRE digital (finger) rectal examination.  PV is used when cream or a pessary needs to be given vaginally.

As with the above this family of abbreviations also refers to the route of drug administration, but only when a needle is involved.  So when the patient needs some form of injection or cannula (venflon) insertion.
SC = subcutaneous, into the fatty tissue below the skin.
IV = intravenous, into a vein.
IM = intramuscular, into a muscle.

click the picture to download

If you would like to receive free medical English worksheets or ask a medical English question then contact us at or join our group on facebook.

Thursday, 3 November 2011


Can i speak to Huey please?
Nowadays the word 'sick' pops up in many different contexts.  It can get a little confusing, so lets make things absolutely clear regarding it's use in medical English. As a noun 'sick' is 'vomitus', the ejected contents of ones stomach.  Yep, that extra shot of vodka doesn't seem like a good idea now, does it?!  And why are there always carrots in there?  Sorry, i just can't help myself.

A common question is "what's the difference between the expressions 'to be sick' and 'to feel sick'?"  Well to be sick is to vomit, spew, puke, barf, throw up, or talk to Huey on the big white telephone.  Yes i have heard this one used!

To feel sick has 2 clear meanings.  If you feel sick then you feel nauseous, such as if you're having cardiac chest pain, have just sniffed dog poo, have travel or sea sickness (nausea comes from the Greek 'naus' = 'ship').  So you could potentially be about to vomit, which may or may not actually happen.

On the other hand, a patient may say that they feel sick to indicate that they feel generally ill or unwell, so they could have a cold, a headache or non specific symptoms such as fatigue.  The most important point here is that if a patient says "i feel sick", then you should ask them to be more specific about the symptoms they have.

So on a Monday morning when it's time to ring in sick after a heavy weekend on the booze, or because you're simply sick and tired (to be annoyed or disappointed with something) of your dead end job, and your boss, whose continuous flirting with the new secretary makes you sick (to the stomach), asks whats wrong, you should simply reply, "I'm not very well, i'm sick as a dog".  So now you're off sick, on the sick or on sick leave, for which it's a good idea to get a sick note from your doctor to keep your sick boss off your back.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

History Taking - The Socrates Pain Assessment Tool

Anyone who's ever taken a patient's medical history will know that it involves the skill of asking a lot of specific and personal questions. If a patient complains of pain then there are at least 8 questions that should be asked about that symptom alone. Things like the site or location of the pain, the pain's character or description and even the pain's severity need to be explored.

condemned for impiety & corrupting the Athenian youth
Fortunately, the great founding father of western philosophy (love of wisdom) also lends his name to a very handy little learning tool.  The SOCRATES pain assessment mnemonic is a simple way of helping medical history takers remember 8 quick-fire questions that can be asked to any patient in any type of pain.  You name it; abdo pain, lower back pain, cardiac pain, pleuritic pain, this method covers all bases.

So let's take the first letter 'S', which stands for 'Site'.  If the location of the patient's pain isn't perfectly clear from your patients body language, then your first question should be, "where (about) is the pain?", "where does it hurt?" or to be more precise, "where exactly is the pain?". From here you can move on to finding out when the pain started. 'O' stands for 'Onset", so you should lead on with a question such as, "when did the pain start?".

Click for 'Crossword Worksheet'
Click for 'Question Formation' Worksheet

But what about the remaining '...C-R-A-T-E-S?' Well to learn more we have developed free worksheets. Just click on the worksheet images here and you will be directed to google drive where you can download the files for free. The links for the answer sheets are below:

Click here for 'Crossword' answers

Click here for 'Question Formation' answers.

You can watch our history taking video here.

Monday, 3 October 2011

First Aid Skills

Talking of first aid (well in the last post), if you were put to the test, how would you treat somebody with a nose bleed (epistaxis) or the unthinkable scenario of a choking child?  Why don't you test your first aid skills at the BBC website and improve your medical English at the same time.  Enjoy.

Friday, 30 September 2011

In case of emergency...

All healthcare professionals should be able to respond to most medical emergencies, even if that just means giving first aid or basic life support (BLS).   For anyone who wants to work with English speaking patients, then 'emergency medical English' should be the foundation of the communication process.

A quick and accurate patient history is vital in order to administer the right emergency treatment, and so requires a quick and systematic line of questioning.  Anyone who has got down on the floor with 'resus Annie' will know the basic question, "are you ok?" is quick and simple, but can help to determine a patients level of consciousness.  But what follows on from that?  What would you then ask someone who has sustained a head injury, or what specific questions would you ask someone with chest pain?

As a result we have developed an 'emergency medical English' course, which targets the most common medical emergencies.  At the centre of each case is a 'model dialogue' (mp3), in which you can hear a British emergency doctor taking a history.  A key component of the course is the fact that most patients will use a lot of colloquialisms, so if a patient asks, "whats wrong with me?", it's important to avoid 'professional medical English' or medical jargon, and use language that the patient will understand.  "Well, i think you're having a heart attack" is much more useful than "i think you're having a myocardial infarction".  Reassurance is vital in a medical emergency, and patients will feel reassured if they know what is happening.

The first case is cardiac chest pain.  You can download the first set of mp3 files for free from our RME resources page.  If you want free worksheets to accompany the files then contact us, all of our details are on our website.

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Subliminal Learning

BBC iplayer Health Check programme
As an expat living in Poland, i've found that a cheap, easy and convenient way to learn Polish is to simply turn the radio on and let my subconscious do the work.  I just let it play in the background whilst i'm busy washing mushrooms or lazily surfing the web.  There have been many social occasions when i have found myself producing polish words and phrases without knowing where they came from. "Juz teraz w kinach!", which translates as "in cinemas now!", you don't know how many times this one can come in handy!  Or one of my favourites, "dziś będzie 22 stopni", "today it will be 22 degrees".  Incidentally if a patient's temperature is 37.2°C, then we say, "the patient's temp is 37 point 2 degrees".  Saying "celsius" at the end is optional.

For those of you who are serious about improving your medical English, then why not give the BBC radio iplayer a go?  It's here that you'll find health check, a weekly radio programme that explores topical subjects related to health and medicine.  You can also download podcasts of previous episodes from the BBC Health Check podcast page. So, what are you waiting for?  Just click play, carry on with what you were doing and let the mind expansion commence!  Enjoy.

Monday, 19 September 2011


A client of mine is a Polish GP and Paediatrician.  A very nice chap in fact.  He has his own practice in Poland and travels to the UK every 2 weeks to work weekend and out-of-hours shifts for a primary care trust (PCT).
Having originally helped him to get through his IELTS test in order to work for the PCT, he continues to have  regular conversation classes.  Following his first weekend in the UK, he returned with a multitude of stories  and enthusiasm.  "You know?  They put milk in my tea!".  Yes, this remains a novelty for many Poles, and no, we don't stop at 5 o'clock for tea!  We do drink it by the barrel load though, and of course in order to restore the equilibrium we proceed to pee, piddle, wee, urinate, micturate, spend a penny, excrete, take a leak, pass water and for those swayed towards a more vulgar tone, piss for England.  Don't even get me started on draining beasts and reptiles!

a wee drip of urine
Dr D will be providing his take on medical English used in the real world by noting commonly used colloquialisms and expressions used by his patients and colleagues.  His first insight is the word 'water', "but that's not very 'medical English' doc!", indeed, but as we've seen it can be used to politely say "doctor, i'm having trouble passing water" or "i've got a problem with my water works", and if you suffer from high blood pressure or heart failure, you just may well be prescribed 'water tablets', known in the field as diuretics.  May the flow be with you.

Check out our 'word of the week' on our homepage


Friday, 16 September 2011

innovative & professional
Welcome to our new blog.  We hope that you will find something interesting to help you improve your medical English.  You can also visit our website for more information about us.
If you need any help or information about what we do then please contact Pete at: