Medical Conversation Topics for ESL / EFL

Updated on February 8, 2019
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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.

TEFL/ EFL / ESL Medical English Conversation Topics

Below are some conversation topics for medical students.

The categories are:

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


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 for 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?


  • 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


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?

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 medication 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 system?
  • 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?

Questions & Answers

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