English for Medical Purposes - A Physical Examination

Sample Dialogue and Vocabulary

Doctor's Appointment

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This intermediate-level English dialogue can be used in class or as a reading comprehension practice. This sample conversation is for a physical examination at a doctor's appointment.

Sample Dialogue

  • Doctor: When did you last come in for a physical exam?
  • Patient: I had my last physical two years ago.
  • Doctor: Have you had any other exams recently? Blood work, an EKG or an ultra-sound?
  • Patient: Well, I had a few X-rays at the dentist.
  • Doctor: How have you been feeling in general?
  • Patient: Pretty well. No complaints, really.
  • Doctor: Could you roll up your left sleeve? I'd like to take your blood pressure.
  • Patient: Certainly.
  • Doctor: 120 over 80. That's fine. You don't seem to be overweight, that's good. Do you exercise regularly?
  • Patient: No, not really. If I run up a flight of stairs, it takes me a while to get my breath back. I need to get out more.
  • Doctor: That would be a good idea. How about your diet?
  • Patient: I think I eat a pretty balanced diet. You know, I'll have a hamburger from time to time, but generally, I have well-balanced meals.
  • Doctor: That's good. Now, I'm going to listen to your heart.
  • Patient: Ooh, that's cold!
  • Doctor: Don't worry it's just my stethoscope. Now, breathe in and hold your breath. Please pull up your shirt, and breathe deeply... Everything sounds good. Let's take a look at your throat. Please open wide and say 'ah'.
  • Patient: 'ah'
  • Doctor: OK. Everything looks ship shape. I'm going to order some blood work and that's about it. Take this slip to the front desk and they'll arrange an appointment for the tests.
  • Patient: Thank you, doctor. Have a nice day.

Key Vocabulary

  • physical examination (exam)
  • blood work
  • EKG
  • ultra-sound
  • x-rays
  • to roll up sleeves
  • overweight - underweight
  • to exercise regularly
  • balanced diet
  • well-balanced meals
  • stethoscope
  • to breath in
  • to hold one's breath
  • to pull on one's shirt
  • to breathe deeply
  • to open wide
  • to look ship shape
  • slip
  • front desk
  • to arrange an appointment