Free English Lessons

Going to the Doctor – Listening Lesson (B1)

Of course, we hope you don’t ever need to use English at the doctor’s, but if you do, you should know what to say. Learn useful English vocabulary to talk about illness and treatments in this free English listening lesson from Oxford Online English about going to the doctor. This is an intermediate lesson.

Listen to the dialogue at normal speed here:

or listen to a slower version here:

Woman: So what can I do for you today?
Man: Well, I’ve been having1 really bad headaches, and sometimes I feel dizzy.
Woman: How long have you been feeling like this?
Man: I think… About a week, maybe.
Woman: And did it start suddenly? Did anything happen which might have caused it?
Man: I don’t know. I’ve never felt like this before.
Woman: Okay, for today, I’ll give you a prescription2 for some painkillers. Do you have any allergies?
Man: No, not that I know of.
Woman: It’s just paracetamol. It’ll help you with the headaches. I’m also going to refer you to a specialist3 at the hospital. They’ll call you up to arrange an appointment.
Man: Do you think it’s something serious?
Woman: It could be a lot of things. If I were you4, I’d just get plenty of rest; don’t overexert5 yourself, and wait for the appointment with the specialist next week.
Man: Okay, thank you, doctor.
Woman: Don’t forget your prescription!
Man: Oh, yes, thanks.

1. The present perfect continuous form ‘have been having’ indicates a repeated action.
2. A prescription is a piece of paper that a doctor gives you, which you use to buy medicine at a pharmacy.
3. The doctor in this lesson is a general family doctor; in the UK, her job title would be GP (short for ‘general practitioner’). A doctor who has specific knowledge about an individual medical condition is a specialist.
4. ‘If I were you’ is a common phrase that people use when they give advice.
5. ‘Overexert’ means to work too hard or push yourself to do too much.

Going to the Doctor – exercise 1
Listening comprehension: following the conversation

Put five things in the order they happen in the conversation.

Going to the Doctor – exercise 2
Vocabulary: medical words

Identify the words in the dialogue from a dictionary definition.

Going to the Doctor – exercise 3
Vocabulary: medical collocations

Collocations are groups of words that people commonly use together in certain situations, for example ‘arrange an appointment’. Match the halves to make five collocations.

Going to the Doctor – exercise 4
Listening skill: understanding weak forms

Improve your listening skills by focusing on specific words and sounds.

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