Medical systems vary from country to country, so today I would like to show you how you can sound more natural in your English Conversation. when you speak about using the medical system in the USA in English.
In the US, we generally have a family doctor, or primary care doctor. We visit this doctor in his or her private office. Sometimes this office is called a clinic. A doctor’s office is an office with just one doctor and his staff. A clinic is a large office with several doctors. A hospital is a large building with many doctors and beds. You can stay overnight in a hospital, but not at a clinic or doctor’s office. To summarize:
You go to the doctor’s office or a clinic when:
- It is not an emergency, like a cold, a rash, or a check-up.
- You make an appointment.
You go to a hospital when
- It is for an emergency (like a broken leg, severe wound, accident, etc) or for surgury.
- You don’t need an appointment when there is an emergency.
You can say go to the doctor or see the doctor.
- I went to the doctor yesterday (for a non-emergency)
- I had a bad cold so I decided to see the doctor.
To go to the doctor’s office or a clinic, you need an appointment. We usually make a doctor’s appointment and see the doctor. Once we make the appointment, we have an appointment. Again, you can also say that you are going to see the doctor:
- I made a doctor’s appointment for April 3rd.
- I have a doctor’s appointment at 3:00 this afternoon.
- I want to see the doctor about that pain in my back.
When you have an emergency, you go to the emergency room in a hospital. To go to the emergency room, you do not need an appointment. The emergency room is the place in the hospital where people with serious medical emergencies go, or are brought by an ambulance.
- I went to the emergency room after I fell off the ladder.
- The ambulance took Jack to the emergency room.
If the doctor in the emergency room thinks your condition is serious, you may be admitted to the hospital. In that case, we would say you are in the hospital.
- I was admitted to the hospital for testing after the accident.
- Jack is in the hospital for an operation.
If you know anyone who has trouble with this English language point, why not help them out! Just share this lesson with them.
Thanks for studying today!