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French medical terms at the doctor’s office

This list of French medical terms will be very helpful when the time comes to visit a doctor in France. Before relocating to France, you probably pictured yourself dunking croissants into a tiny cup of coffee at a Parisian bistrot. You most certainely didn’t think about trying to describe your symptoms to a non-English speaking doctor.

Don’t wait until you’re sick to learn some French medical vocabulary. Practice today and get ready for your next doctor’s appointment.

French medical terms for a doctor’s visit

les antécédents familiaux
family history
les antécédents médicaux
case history
une balance
un cabinet de docteur
doctor’s office
un cabinet médical
doctor’s office
le carnet de santé
health record
la carte vitale
French health insurance card
une consultation
doctor’s visit
une consultation vidéo
online video consultation
la convalescence
rest period
un diagnostic
les honoraires
doctor’s fees
une hospitalisation
hospital stay
une hospitalisation en ambulatoire
hospital stay shorter than twelve hours
un médecin ou un docteur
un médecin de garde
on-call doctor
un médecin traitant
primary doctor
un patient
la posologie
le pouls (“ls” are silent)
un régime alimentaire
un rendez-vous
la salle d’attente
waiting room
un symptôme
la température
la tension artérielle
blood pressure
un traitement
une visite à domicile
house call

Sentences to schedule an appointment

Use these sentences when it’s time to schedule a doctor’s appointment.

Bonjour, je voudrais prendre (un) rendez-vous.
Hello, I would like to schedule an appointment.
Est-ce que je pourrais avoir l’adresse du cabinet s’il vous plait?
Can I have the doctor’s office address please?
Est-ce qu’il est facile de se garer?
Is it easy to find a parking spot in the area?
Quelle est la station de métro la plus proche?
What’s the name of the closest subway station?

French medical terms in sentences: describe your symptoms

Learn the French medical terms to prepare for your next doctor's visit in France
Don’t wait for your next headache to learn French medical terms
Je viens vous voir parce que je ne dors pas bien.
The reason I’m visiting today is because I have sleeping issues.
Je ne me sens pas bien depuis trois semaines.
I haven’t been feeling well for the past three weeks.
Je suis très fatiguée dernièrement.
I have been really tired lately.
J’ai mal partout depuis 3 jours.
I’ve been aching all over for the past 3 days.
J’ai mal à l’épaule depuis que je suis tombé.
My shoulder hurts since I fell.
J’ai une douleur dans la poitrine.
I have chest pain.
Je ressens une douleur lancinante dans le bras droit.
I have a throbbing pain in the right arm.
J’ai perdu connaissance après ma chute.
I was unconscious after I fell.
J’ai des maux de tête tous les jours.
I have daily headaches.
J’ai perdu l’appétit.
I lost my appetite.
J’ai des nausées.
I feel nauseous.
J’ai mal au dos.
My back hurts.
J’ai le nez bouché.
I have a stuffy nose.
Je tousse beaucoup.
I have a bad cough.
J’ai pris du poids.
I gained some weight.
Je me suis évanoui.
I fainted.

To learn the French terms for the different illness and symptoms, read French glossary of illnesses.

Understand a French doctor

You are likely to hear these sentences during a doctor’s appointment.

Lie down.
Get undressed.
Montez sur la balance.
Step on the scale.
Respirez profondément.
Breath deeply.
Où avez-vous mal?
Where does it hurt?
Tirez la langue.
Stick out your tongue.
Vous pouvez garder vos sous-vêtements.
You can keep your underwear on.
Je vais prendre votre température.
I’m going to take your temperature.
Est-ce que vous avez votre carte vitale?
Do you have your carte vitale?
Est-ce que vous avez des allergies?
Do you have any allergies?
Vous pouvez vous rhabiller.
You can get dressed.

Helpful sentences at the doctor’s

Every doctor’s visit starts with a chat with your doctor in France. Make sure you know how to describe your situation ahead of time.

J’ai besoin de renouveler mon ordonnance.
I need to renew my prescription.
Je suis allergique au gluten.
I am allergic to gluten.
Je suis sous anti-dépresseurs.
I take antidepressants.
Je n’ai pas encore reçu ma carte vitale.
I haven’t received my carte vitale yet.
Est-ce que vous pourriez être mon médecin traitant?
Do you accept to be my primary doctor?
Je paye par carte.
I pay with credit card.

If you haven’t been to the doctor in France yet, read Going to the doctor in France to know what to expect.

Nathalie Nahmani

About Nathalie Nahmani

Nathalie is the creator of ma French Life. She moved back to France after living in Los Angeles for 20 years. She writes practical articles to help expats in France. Nathalie lives with her family in the French Alps near Grenoble.

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