In the medical field there exist additional challenges when treating Spanish-speaking patients due to the communication barrier. However, no matter in which medical field you practice, nor your level of Spanish, learning medical Spanish can help you bridge the communication gap with your patients which may result in improved levels of care.

There are so many benefits in not only learning Spanish medical terminology and phrases but also understanding the basic foundation of Spanish grammar to help string these terms together and connect with your patients.

When you know more about your patient’s symptoms and medical illness you will be able to better ensure they understand and follow the necessary treatment. Going to a doctor with concerns or illnesses can be sensitive and by speaking the same language as your patient, this can really help alleviate stress to a potentially awkward situation that the patient might feel self-conscious about.

By understanding them and vice versa, you will not only help your patient overcome a medical concern, but you will also boost the relationship you have with your patients and ensure they feel comfortable when receiving medical attention.

Another important consideration to learning medical Spanish is that it can take pressure off of family members, especially children, who may be interpreting and translating for members of their family. Many times, the topics of discussion can be intimate, sensitive or uncomfortable at best. These untrained family members, although trying their best, can miscommunicate information and put everyone involved at a disadvantage.

Picture of a Doctor

Check out some basic medical vocabulary and phrases that one may hear or use in a medical setting.

Medical Vocabulary:

la medicina = medicine

la cápsula = capsule

la tableta = tablet

la píldora = pill

la inyección = injection

el ungüento = ointment

reposo en cama = bed rest

la cirugía = surgery

la toalla calentadora = heating pad

la bolsa de hielo = ice pack

el soporte = sling

el enyesado = cast

la muleta = crutch

el médico = doctor

la enfermera = nurse

el sarpullido = rash

Picture of a medical instrument

los escalofríos = chills

el dolor = pain

presión sanguínea (alta/baja) =  blood pressure (high/low)

el resfriado = cold

la torcedura = sprain

la infección = infection

la fractura = fracture

la cortada = cut

el moretón = bruise


Medical Phrases:

Estoy enfermo(a). = I am sick.

¿Dónde le duele? = Where does it hurt?

¿Tiene fiebre? = Do you have a fever?

¿Desde cuándo se siente así? = How long have you felt this way?

Tengo náuseas. = I feel nauseous.

Tengo alergia. = I have an allergy.

Tengo diarrea. = I have diarrhea.

Tengo migraña. = I have a migraine.

Picture of medicine

We hope you have enjoyed this medical Spanish post

We hope you enjoyed this reading about Medical Spanish and taking the time to understand how important and life-changing a little knowledge can be. If you found these words and phrases helpful, check out the Medical Professional Course that dives into much more detail about the human body, pain, injury, illness and much much more.  You can also find more content and online Spanish courses at  Down to Earth Spanish,  where you will find a variety of  self-paced online Spanish courses and free printables and digital worksheets.