Doctors in French: Conversations for Beginners

Doctors in French: Conversations for Beginners

Welcome to Everyday French Conversations for Beginners Week 4 Episode 3. We’re talking about what happens if you get sick in France. We’ll also learn a few phrases in French in case you need doctors.

(01:00) Discussion about health care in France. Doctors’ offices are private in the UK and health insurance is required. Everyone is eligible for healthcare, but you need to walk to the doctor’s office and be sick enough to receive care. In France, health insurance is not free but is affordable and open to everyone. You can go to a private doctor and get better care than what the government provides.

(03:30) In the past 20-25 years, Urgent Care which is in-between the doctors’ office (only open certain house) vs. the emergency room (always open). In the UK, you can call an urgent care line who will refer you to a hospital or they have a doctor on-call at their location to examine you and give you a prescription.

(04:40) In France, if you need to see a French doctor that day, call SOS Medicine 24 hours a day. There’s always a doctor-on-call and they come to your house. In this case, we’ll have a discussion between a sick American and a nurse (on the phone) from SOS Medicine.

(05:45) Discussion in French.

(07:00) Important distinction: a standard telephone number in France is 10 digits and said in pairs instead of individual digits. Zero-four, seventy-seven, ninety-three, fifty-one, eighty-two. Switzerland and Belgium have their own word for “eighty” but in France, it’s four-twenties. To say ninety-three, you say four-twenties, thirteen.

(09:00) Let’s go through the dialogue. Hello (on the phone). SOS Medicine. I am sick. I have a big fever. “What is your temperature?” 103. “What did you say?” Yes, 103 degrees Fahrenheit. “That is 39 in Centigrade. What are your symptoms?” I have a sore throat and a really have a headache. Two days ago, I had dinner at a restaurant. “If you have a sore throat, it’s probably a flu. Don’t worry. We will send you a doctor right away.”

(10:50) “Give me your name, address, and telephone number.” Janina replied with her name and address: 41 Ruberg Street, and phone number.

(11:15) How do you say… fever? Temperature. Symptoms. Throat. Head. Day. The flu. To worry. Don’t worry. Right away. Doctor.

(12:00) S.O.S. is not a French acronym, it is from Morse Code. English has French acronyms such as RSVP, which we call Respond So Very Promptly to fit those letters.

(13:00) Final thoughts about medical care in France: some of the emergency room doctors are the best in the world.

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French Conversations for Beginners

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