How to See a Doctor in China

Posted by Lilian Li on April 20, 2017

see a doctor

It never feels good to fall ill in a foreign country. But what if this really happens? How to see a doctor in China? What’s the procedure of seeing a doctor in China? How can you describe your condition or your feelings to the doctor in Chinese?

Procedure of seeing a doctor in China hospitals

bìng rén 病人: Patient
yī yuàn 医院: Hospital
guà hào 挂号: Register
yī shēng 医生: Doctor
jiù zhěn 就诊: Diagnosis
fù fèi 付费: Pay
qǔ yào 取药: Get the medicine
lí yuàn 离院: Leave the hospital
huà yàn 化验: Chemical examination
jiǎn chá 检查: Check
jí zhěn 急诊: Emergency treatment
zhù yuàn 住院: Be in hospital
chū yuàn 出院: Leave hospital (after recovery)

Normally, a standard procedure for slight illness is:
Patient-Hospital-Register- Check -Diagnosis-Pay-Get the medicine-Leave the hospital.

Chinese words about illness

If any part of your body hurts, you can use this structure:

wǒ 我 + (any part of your body) + tòng 痛

Parts of the Body
tóu 头: Head
yǎn jīng 眼睛: Eye
bí zi 鼻子: Nose
zuǐ ba 嘴巴: Mouth
ěr duo 耳朵: Ear
yá chǐ 牙齿: Tooth
jiān bǎng 肩膀: Shoulder
dù zi 肚子: Stomach 
tuǐ 腿: Leg
xī gài 膝盖: Knee
jiǎo 脚: Foot
jiǎo huái 脚踝: Ankle

Now, you can say to the doctor:
wǒ tóu tòng 我头痛。My head hurts.
wǒ yá tòng 我牙痛。I have a too thache.

Except for those simple expressions, you can also tell the doctor that you feel you’ve had the cold or had a fever.

gǎn mào 感冒: Have a cold
fā shāo 发烧: Have a fever
ké sòu 咳嗽: Have a cough
hóu lóng tong 喉咙痛: Have a sore throat
liú bí tì 流鼻涕: Running nose
dǎ pēn tì 打喷嚏: Sneeze
tóu yūn 头晕: Feel dizzy
méi wèi kǒu 没胃口: Have no appetite

e.g.:
yī shēng ,wǒ hǎo xiàng gǎn mào le 。tóu hěn yūn ,hái yì zhí dǎ pēn tì 。
医生,我好像感冒了。头很晕,还一直打喷嚏。
Doctor, I might have a cold. I feel dizzy and keep sneezing.

wǒ fā shāo le , méi yǒu wèi kǒu
我发烧了,没有胃口。
I’ve got a fever and have no appetite.

And, after you got your medicine, you should ask the doctor:

zhè gè yào yī tiān chī jǐ cì
这个药一天吃几次?
How often should I take this medicine each day?

zhè gè yào fàn qián chī hái shì fàn hòu chī ?
这个药饭前吃还是饭后吃?
Should I take this medicine before meal or after meal?

Above are the most simple sentences for use when you going to see a doctor in China. By mastering those words and phrases, you can make basic communication with the doctor together with some body language. But I hope all of you won’t need to use it in the future. May you be healthy and lead a happy life in China! If you want to learn more about daily Chinese, here you can book a free trial!

About The Author

Lilian Li

Lilian Li has a master's degree in linguistics and didactics from Rennes University in France. An expert in linguistics and educational psychology, she has taught Chinese as a foreign language for several years, primarily in France.

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