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Medical Conversation Topics for ESL / EFL

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I am an ESL teacher, and I mostly write resources for other ESL teachers. I am especially interested in obscure topics.

Medical English conversation topics

Medical English conversation topics

TEFL / EFL / ESL Medical English Conversation Topics

Below are some conversation topics for medical students.

Medical English Conversation Categories

  1. Hospital and Hospital Equipment
  2. The Body
  3. Medicine
  4. Doctors and Patients

1. Hospital and Hospital Equipment

  • Can you name some different departments in a hospital and describe what they do?
  • Who works in a hospital? What are the different duties of the staff?
  • What are the most common types of accidents in the workplace?
  • How can you prevent needlestick?
  • Name some items you’d find in a first aid kit. What are they used for?
  • Name some first aid techniques.
  • Have you ever dealt with an emergency situation? Describe it.
  • Name some common medical equipment.
  • Describe the uses of the medical equipment you use most frequently.
  • How should disposable medical equipment be taken care of?
  • What is done to medical equipment before it is used on other patients?
  • Name some different types of medical imaging.
  • What safety equipment is used to protect radiographers?
  • How can you best prevent infection in a hospital?
  • Does your hospital have any hygiene issues?
  • Describe the process of seeing patients in the emergency room.
  • What does a triage nurse do?
  • What is the worst time to visit the hospital?
  • What tools does a surgeon use?

2. Medicine

  • Can you describe some different ways to administer medicine?
  • Give reasons why some ways of administering medicine must not be used in certain situations.
  • Name some abbreviations for dosage and explain them.
  • What drugs are addictive?
  • Can you name any drugs that were taken off the market recently? Why?
  • What problems do senior citizens have with taking medication?
  • Name some medications that pregnant women should not take.
  • Name some metric units used to measure medicine.
English conversations for medical students

English conversations for medical students

3. Doctors and Patients

  • What information do you look for when taking a patient’s history?
  • How are medical histories stored?
  • When checking vital signs, what are you looking for?
  • Can you describe what you would do if you were giving a physical examination?
  • What are diagnostic tests?
  • List some words that describe severe pain and mild pain.
  • Name some common illnesses that affect children and the elderly.
  • What kinds of special care do the elderly need?
  • Describe the symptoms of the flu.
  • What is diabetes and who does it affect?
  • Name some types of cancers and describes what a patient should expect.
  • What treatments are available for cancer?
  • Describe the medical training in your country.
  • What special training do nurses get?
  • Explain the problems that could result from miscommunication between a doctor and a patient.
  • How can you make sure there are minimal communication problems?
  • Explain informed consent.
  • Why are some patients reluctant to visit a doctor?
  • Have you ever treated a patient you believed to be a hypochondriac?
  • Do you think doctors are becoming less sensitive to patients’ needs?
  • How does the credit crunch impact hospitals and medical workers?

4. The Body

  • What are the main senses and describe their functions?
  • Name some common injuries to the hands and feet.
  • What common illnesses affect the respiratory system?
  • Can you name the parts of the respiratory system and describe their functions?
  • Can you describe a respiratory disease one of your patients had and the treatment prescribed?
  • What common illnesses affect the reproductive system?
  • Name parts of the reproductive system and their functions.
  • Can you describe a reproductive system disease one of your patients had?
  • What medication is used to control or regulate the reproductive system?
  • What common illnesses affect the endocrine system?
  • Name parts of the endocrine system and their functions.
  • Name some medications used to regulate the endocrine system and explain the contra-indications.
  • What common illnesses affect the muscular system?
  • What treatments are offered?
  • Name parts of the muscular system and their functions.
  • How do the arms and shoulders connect with each other?
  • What common illnesses affect the skeletal system?
  • Name some bone fractures and describe them.
  • Describe the effects pregnancy has on the skeletal system.
  • What common illnesses affect the nervous system?
  • Name parts of the nervous system and their functions.
  • What’s the difference between the central and peripheral nervous systems?
  • Name some chronic and acute illnesses to affect the nervous system.
  • What common illnesses affect the digestive system?
  • Name parts of the digestive system and their functions.
  • Can you describe the journey food makes?
  • Can you name any surgeries patients might have to alleviate problems of the digestive system?
  • What common illnesses affect the circulatory system?
  • What is heart disease?
  • Name some treatments for heart disease.
  • Describe what happens to blood in the circulatory system?
  • Name the different types of blood.
  • How does your country encourage people to donate blood?
  • What illnesses are associated with blood?
  • What is the procedure for blood donation in your hospital?
  • Describe a situation where a patient needed a blood transfusion.
  • Have you ever given blood?
  • Has your hospital ever given a patient the wrong blood type? If so, what happened?
  • What common illnesses affect the integumentary system?
  • Describe the different layers of skin.
  • What skin conditions mainly affect young people / old people?

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