Medical conversations

PUBLISHED : Monday, 27 March, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 27 March, 2006, 12:00am

Match the sentences with the correct answers

1. Can you describe some of your symptoms to me, please? _________

2. Do you have anything I can take for a sore throat? _________

3. Will I be conscious during the operation? ___________

4. I am afraid you may experience some side-effects from this medicine. Some people have very upset stomachs and cramps when they take it, but it will be worth suffering the discomfort for a few days as it is very effective at dealing with your trouble. _________

5. The patient is unconscious. Some bones have been broken and I think there might be internal bleeding. _________

6. I have cut myself quite badly. Look here. _________

7. Do I have to go on taking the medicine? I feel much better now. ________

8. Her face is terribly swollen. Just look at these big patches of colour on her skin. She looks really awful! _________

9. Doctor, it's so itchy, it's driving me mad. __________

a. Thank you for warning me. As long as it works I don't mind.

b. How did you do that? Let's clean it and put a dressing on it. You really must be more careful.

c. Sorry about that. You will feel better when we take the plaster off, and I will give you some cream, but you mustn't scratch it.

d. My muscles hurt and my head aches. I think my temperature is up


e. It seems to be an allergic reaction to something she has eaten. Has she had anything she doesn't usually eat in the last few hours?

f. These lozenges should help. They are very soothing.

g. Well, I want a full scan done. Tell them to be quick about it too. Have you checked blood pressure? Is it acceptable?

h. Yes, it is very important that you complete the course or you may have a relapse later.

i. Yes, you will, but there will be no pain as we will use a local anaesthetic.

Tips to help you with the exercise

1. A symptom is a sign of illness, but if you do not know the word you can still work out that some sort of list is needed in the reply.

2. The speaker is asking for something so even with vocabulary problems it is possible to find the answer.

3. A yes/no answer can be expected, so look at h and i and then think about tense.

4. What the doctor says is bad news to the patient, so the reply should reflect his.

5. This seems to be a conversation between two medical people. The first reports on a patient (after an accident?). Look for a medical response suggesting/ordering action.

6. General knowledge can help here. What is suitable treatment for a cut? What sort of thing might the nurse/doctor say to someone in such circumstances of self-injury?

7. A yes/no question. Refer to 3 above.

8. This is a conversation about someone (she). Itching is a skin reaction. What sort of things can make us itch?

9. A patient is complaining (about a broken arm or leg?). Look for an attempt to answer the complaint and solve the problem. What do we do when we feel itchy?


1. d.

2. f. Lozenges are medical sweets. You suck them to make a sore throat feel better.

3. i. People fear pain during operations. A local anaesthetic stops pain in one small area.

4. a. Talk about being warned fits, and not minding is a common response to someone apologizing (I'm afraid).

5. g.

6. b. Dressing sounds a like a cover and is what you put over a wound.

7. h. You may know the phrase a course of medicine. Relapse is difficult, but you know re means again, so can guess it means falling ill again.

8. e. General knowledge will tell you that sometimes when people eat, for example, shellfish, they suffer strange reactions. These are allergies, but you do not really need to know that.

9. c.