English Lesson: Doctors and Hospitals

Michael Uncategorized 2 Comments

The other day, someone on twitter mentioned that they were in the hospital. I got so worried, and then I remembered that for her, being in the hospital might not be as bad as I thought. Do you know why? Well, let’s look at how we talk about the world of medicine and doctors in American English.

In the US, we generally visit our family doctor in his or her private office. Sometimes this office is called a clinic. If we go to a hospital, it is for an emergency (like a broken leg, bad cut, accident, etc) or for surgery. So, the place your doctor sees you and his patients for non-emergencies, is his office.

  • I went to the doctor’s yesterday (for a non-emergency)
  • I went to the hospital yesterday (for an emergency or operation)

This is an important point. If you say you went to the hospital, your friends will worry about you.

For such non-emergencies, we usually make an appointment to see the doctor. Once we make the appointment, we have an appointment. You can also say that you are going to see the doctor:

  • I have a doctor’s appointment tomorrow at 3:00
  • I need to make an appointment for my annual checkup.
  • I have to see the doctor about that pain in my back

If you are sick (like runny nose, sore throat, cough, etc) then it is a cold. If it is more serious, then maybe you have influenza, or the flu. You can catch or have a cold/the flu, like this:

  • If you go outside with wet hair in the winter you will probably catch a cold.
  • I caught a cold this week.
  • Tom had the flu last winter.
  • I have a cold, so I can’t go to school today.

If you are sick, the doctor will probably give you a prescription for some medicine. He may even give you an injection, or shot. In English, we use take for medicine:

  • I have a prescription for cough medicine
  • I need to take this medicine twice a day.
  • Do you take vitamins?
  • The doctor gave me a shot for the flu.
  • The baby cried when the doctor gave her a shot.

Well, I hope his was helpful. Enjoy your day and stay healthy! Thanks for reading!