Going to the Doctor’s

Going to the doctor while being abroad can be scary, especially if you do not know what to expect. Sometimes it is hard to describe your symptoms. Sometimes it may be hard to understand what the doctor is telling you.


This post will answer  some of your questions:

•    What happens if you want to see a doctor?

The health care system can help you when you are sick.  It can also help you stay healthy.
Doctors and other health care providers are part of the health care system.  Public health departments are also part of the health care system.
The health care system includes services available to all people like clinics, community health centers and hospitals where you can visit GP (general practitioners) before being sent to the medical specialist.  In case of an emergency, you must dial 112.

•    When do people see a doctor?

•    For checkups: you    may    get    tests    or    screenings to make sure you do not have certain health problems or get immunizations or shots at a checkup to help prevent sickness. The doctor will talk to you about what you can do to stay healthy.  You may need to eat differently, exercise, or take medicine.
•    When you are sick or in an emergency: it is very important to describe your symptoms so that the doctor is able to find the problem and give you some advice. Find below some common symptoms:

What  you do at the doctor’s?

When you go to the doctor’s office,  you will:
•    Sign    in.    This means you tell the person at the front desk your name and why you are there and you wait    in    the    waiting    room    until    the    nurse    calls    you.
•    Fill    out    some    forms.    You may need to fill out a health history form.  How do you fill out a health history form?

A health history form is also sometimes called a medical history form. A health history form will ask you to describe the following:
•    Your    health    habits.
•    Health    problems    you    have    now    or    had    in    the    past (include allergies)
•    Times    that    you    were    in    the    hospital    and    why.
•    Any    operations    (surgery)    you    have    had.
•    Illnesses    or    diseases    family    members    have    or    had.
•    What    medicines    you    take.

•    What should I know about medicines?

Medicines are something you use when you are sick and want to get better.  You can also use medicines to  stay healthy.  Medicines are sometimes called drugs. Some medicines are sold over-the-counter (OTC).  OTC medicines are for common health problems such as colds or flu.  Anyone can buy over-the-counter medicines at a pharmacy.

Some medicines are sold only with a prescription. Prescription medicine tell you the name of the doctor that prescribed the medicine and the name of the patient who will use the medicine.  Over-the-counter (OTC) medicines do not have a doctor’s name or a patient’s name on the label.

Medicines come in many forms too. You use different medicines in different ways. Some pills you swallow but you do not chew. Other pills you chew and then swallow. You can chew tablets. Do not chew capsules.
Some medicines are in the form of a liquid or syrup. Most cough medicines come in a liquid or syrup. You swallow most cough syrups.
To learn exactly how to take your medicines you must read the medicine labels. Labels usually tell you:

•             The name of the medicine.

•             What the medicine is for.

•             How and when to take the medicine.

•             How much of the medicine to take.

•             What side effects the medicine has.

•             Warnings.

•             Expiration date.

•             Other    information.

Sometimes, a simple action like going to the doctor’s is not always easy. The British TV series Little Britain made fun of some difficulties that may come up when going to the doctor’s, especially, when dealing with paperwork:

If you like their irreverent, politically incorrect tone, you can have more Spanish-subtitled chapters here.

This entry was posted in Face2face Intermediate, Lesson 9, Speaking & Pronunciation, Textbook, Vocabulary. Bookmark the permalink.

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