medical questions spanish

10 Must-Know Spanish Medical Phrases

(Last Updated On: November 25, 2023)

1) Saying I’m sick

Having the right words and phrases can be essential when communicating with a medical professional in Spanish. Knowing the Spanish term for “I’m sick” is just the beginning of understanding how to speak with a Spanish speaker or Hispanic patient in a medical emergency. Using Spanish medical vocabulary and terminology is essential for effectively communicating with a healthcare professional, especially if there’s a language barrier. It’s not always possible to find a native Spanish speaker to do a direct translation, so knowing some key Spanish terms can help bridge the gap between you and the medical professional. The most common Spanish phrase for “I’m sick” is “Estoy enfermo/a.” This phrase can be used in an emergency or with a Spanish speaker in a non-emergency medical setting. Regarding Spanish medical terminology, it’s always best to double-check with a native Spanish speaker or healthcare professional for a more accurate translation. By learning basic Spanish medical vocabulary and phrases, you can more effectively communicate with a Spanish speaker or Hispanic patient in any medical situation.

common spanish medical phrases

2) Requesting a specific medication

When it comes to medical care, understanding Spanish vocabulary and terminology is critical. Knowing how to ask for a specific medication in Spanish can make all the difference when receiving medical treatment in a Spanish-speaking country.

Fortunately, some straightforward Spanish phrases can be used when requesting a specific medication. If you’re a native speaker of Spanish, you may already be familiar with these expressions. However, if you’re learning the language, practicing saying these phrases before needing them in a real-life situation is essential.
Here are some helpful Spanish translations for requesting a specific medication:

  • ¿Puedo tener este medicamento? – Can I have this medication?
  • ¿Qué medicamento necesito para esto? – What medication do I need for this?
  • Necesito un medicamento para la fiebre – I need a medication for fever
  • ¿Tienes algo para el dolor de cabeza? – Do you have something for headaches?
  • ¿Puede recetarme algo para el resfriado? – Can you prescribe something for a cold?

Using these phrases and another Spanish vocabulary, you can confidently communicate with doctors and pharmacists when requesting a specific medication. With practice and guidance from a native speaker, you can get the proper medications to treat your medical concerns.

Read more about medical record translation.

medical phrares in spanish

3) Asking about symptoms

In any medical situation, it’s crucial to communicate effectively about your symptoms. It is even more critical when you are speaking in a different language. Fortunately, some essential Spanish medical phrases will help you discuss your symptoms with a doctor. Here is a guide to the Spanish language terminology for asking about symptoms. When you need to describe an ailment or symptom, start by using one of the following phrases:

  • ¿Cuáles son sus síntomas? – What are your symptoms?
  • ¿Cómo se siente? – How do you feel?
  • ¿Qué le está molestando? – What’s bothering you?

To explain a particular symptom, use the following words and phrases:

  • Dolor – Pain
  • Ardor – Burning sensation
  • Picazón – Itching
  • Náusea – Nausea
  • Fiebre – Fever
  • Estreñimiento – Constipation
  • Tos – Coughing
  • Escalofríos – Chills
  • Dificultad para respirar – Difficulty breathing
  • Congestión nasal – Nasal congestion

Don’t hesitate to ask your doctor or healthcare provider if you have any questions about other Spanish-language medical terms. With these terms in your vocabulary, you will be better equipped to communicate effectively in any medical situation.

4) Expressing pain

When it comes to expressing pain in Spanish, there are a few common phrases and Spanish terminology that you should be familiar with. The most basic way to express pain is by saying “duele,” which means “it hurts.” You can also use the phrase “tener dolor, ” meaning “have pain.” If you need to be more specific, you can use terms like “picazón” (itching), “ardor” (burning sensation), or “calambres” (cramps). For more serious pain, you can describe it as “agudo” (sharp) or “intenso” (intense). Lastly, if you want to ask about the location of your pain, you can use the phrase “¿dónde duele?” which means “Where does it hurt?” Knowing these terms and Spanish terminology can help you effectively communicate your symptoms and get the necessary medical care.

5) Describing an injury

If you suffer an injury, you may need to explain the details to your doctor. The Spanish phrases below can help you communicate the situation:

  • Tengo una herida – I have a wound
  • Me he lesionado el tobillo – I’ve injured my ankle
  • Estoy Sangrando – I am bleeding
  • Tengo un hueso roto – I have a broken bone
  • Estoy sufriendo dolor muscular – I am experiencing muscle pain
  • Estoy sufriendo una luxación – I am suffering a dislocation
  • Me duele la espalda – My back hurts
  • Tengo un esguince – I have a sprain
  • Estoy sufriendo una conmoción cerebral – I am suffering from a concussion

Knowing how to describe an injury in Spanish is essential if you ever need medical attention. These phrases can help ensure you receive the care you need.

medical spanish vocabulary

6) Booking an appointment

If you need to make an appointment to see a doctor, knowing some basic Spanish phrases is helpful. To book an appointment, you can say, “Me gustaría hacer una cita.” This translates to “I would like to make an appointment.” If you need to specify the date or time of your appointment, you can say, “¿Cuándo está disponible?” which means “When is it available?” You can also use the phrase “¿Puede hacerme una cita para…?” which translates to “Can you make me an appointment for…?” If you need to cancel or reschedule an appointment, you can say, “Tengo que cancelar mi cita.” This translates to “I have to cancel my appointment.” If you need to reschedule, you can say, “¿Podemos reprogramar la cita?” which translates to “Can we reschedule the appointment?” It’s also helpful to know how to say “I will be late for my appointment” in Spanish. The phrase for this is “Llegaré tarde a mi cita.” Knowing how to book, reschedule, and cancel appointments in Spanish can make it easier to communicate with your doctor and get the care you need.

spanish medical phrares

7) Going to the pharmacy

If you need to go to the pharmacy for your medical needs, there are a few phrases you should know in Spanish. When you enter the pharmacy, it’s important to greet the pharmacist with “Hola, ¿en qué puedo ayudarle?” which means “Hello, how can I help you?” If you have a prescription from your doctor, you can say, “Tengo una receta médica.” You can also ask questions about or request a specific medication by saying, “¿Me podría decir acerca de este medicamento?” or “Necesito este medicamento.” Lastly, when you’re ready to purchase, you can say, “Por favor, cobre esto.” This phrase means, “Please charge this.” Knowing these common Spanish phrases at the pharmacy will help you get medical care.

8) Talking about test results

When discussing a medical test’s results, knowing how to communicate effectively with your healthcare provider is essential. Being able to ask questions and understand the answers can help you make more informed decisions about your health. Here are some crucial Spanish phrases you should know when talking about test results:

  • ¿Cuáles son los resultados del examen? – What are the test results?
  • ¿Puedo ver los resultados? – Can I see the results?
  • ¿Qué significan estos resultados? – What do these results mean?
  • ¿Hay alguna anormalidad en los resultados? – Is there any abnormality in the results?
  • ¿Necesito hacer algún tratamiento? – Do I need any treatment?
  • ¿Es necesario que vuelva para hacer un seguimiento? – Is it necessary for me to come back for a follow-up?

These phrases can help you get the necessary information when discussing test results. Understanding the test results can help you take charge of your health and make informed decisions.

9) Getting a second opinion

Regarding medical care, seeking a second opinion is always a good idea if you feel unsure. When speaking with a doctor in Spanish, it is essential to know the language to communicate your concerns and effectively get the best care possible. In Spanish, “una segunda opinión” means “a second opinion.” This phrase can be used when asking a doctor or healthcare provider for another opinion. Explaining why you want a second opinion is essential so the provider can understand and give you the best advice possible. Suppose you are unsure of how to express yourself. In that case, you can also use other phrases such as “me gustaría obtener una segunda opinión” (“I’d like to get a second opinion”) or “¿Podría recommendable a alguien para una segunda opinión?” (“Can you recommend someone for a second opinion?”). These phrases will let your healthcare provider know that you would like their opinion and another expert’s opinion. It is also essential to consider that seeking a second opinion may take some time, especially if you are trying to find someone with expertise in the same field as your current healthcare provider. Suppose you are having difficulty finding another doctor or specialist. In that case, you can use the phrase “necesito encontrar an alguien para una segunda opinión” (“I need to find someone for a second opinion”). Getting a second opinion is essential to ensuring you receive the best care and treatment for any medical condition. With the help of these Spanish phrases, you can ensure that your healthcare provider fully understands your needs and concerns.

10) Saying thank you

In any language, it’s polite to thank medical professionals for their time and care. In Spanish, there are a few different ways to express gratitude. The most common phrase for thank you is “gracias.” This is pronounced as “grah-SEE-ahs,” emphasizing the middle syllable. For a more formal expression of appreciation, you can say “Muchas gracias,” which means “many thanks.” If someone has helped you greatly, you can use the phrase “¡Muchísimas gracias!” This means “Thank you very much!” Other variations include “Mil gracias,” which translates to “a thousand thanks,” or “¡Gracias de corazón!” which means “thanks from the heart!” No matter your situation, these expressions of gratitude will show your appreciation and help you build positive relationships with medical professionals.


Why should I learn medical phrases in Spanish?

Medical phrases in Spanish are essential for healthcare professionals who work with Spanish-speaking patients or in areas with a high population of Spanish-speaking individuals. It helps ensure effective communication between patients and healthcare professionals, improving patient care and safety.

What are some examples of Spanish medical phrases that I should know?

Some essential Spanish medical phrases include “¿Dónde le duele?” (Where does it hurt?), “¿Ha tenido fiebre?” (Have you had a fever?), “¿Cuál es su historial médico?” (What is your medical history?), “¿Toma algún medicamento?” (Are you taking any medication?), and “¿Está embarazada?” (Are you pregnant?).

Can I learn Spanish medical phrases on my own?

Yes, many online resources can help you learn Spanish medical phrases independently. However, it is always recommended to practice with a native Spanish speaker or take a course specifically designed for healthcare professionals.

What if I make a mistake while using Spanish medical phrases?

Making mistakes is a natural part of learning a new language, and it is essential to acknowledge and correct them. If you make a mistake while using Spanish medical phrases, apologize and try again. Spanish-speaking patients will appreciate your efforts to communicate with them in their language.

How can I practice my Spanish medical phrases?

Practicing with native Spanish speakers is the best way to improve your Spanish medical phrases. You can also listen to podcasts or watch videos in Spanish that discuss medical topics or take courses designed for healthcare professionals. Additionally, practicing with flashcards and using language learning apps can be beneficial.

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