Moving to a new country is a daily sport, even a marathon. Discovering each culture’s hidden codes, traditions or practices is a never-ending “learning experience.” But when it comes to health, a miscommunication can be serious, even dangerous.

After several stinging experiments with doctors, comical misunderstandings, embarrassed silences or real misunderstandings, I decided to work on this medical lexical directory for French use in the United States. My goal: to facilitate communication with health professionals and you avoid the great moments of loneliness that I have been through these last months!

I would have liked to have a cheat sheet at some appointments. Especially since looking for a translation on a specialized app 15 seconds after the arrival of the doctor often failed, thanks to a scandalously bad Wi-Fi network in the buildings. I do not count the times I used a French word with a pseudo American accent to try to make me understand… The names of exams that I did not know and tried to describe by random circumlocutions, the answers unrelated to the questions or the imitation of what I felt if I did not have the right words to describe my condition (yes, I mimed electric shocks to explain a pain in the lower back or imitated an ultrasound because I did not know the name) … All that is true!

When you say that you have never taken any ” drugs ” thinking that it is ” dope ” when in fact, the nurse just asks you what ” drugs ” you take, it creates a gap. Or when you are asked to go to your ” sample “, that you sit because you have not understood that you have to get up to have a blood or urine sample, you have this little nervous laugh when you finally get what you need to do! In short, I hope that this ABC will avoid some sweats and will allow you to take a step further in American culture.

A guide to better understand health in the US
Body Parts, qualifiers of your pain, symptoms, pathologies, treatments or basic vocabulary to manage your insurance issues, this booklet will help you master the basics. It is an anti-panic ally against the doctors, a guide of essential to understand and be understood! And if a word or a useful expression does not appear there, write me, I’ll add it. This medical prescription has an evolutionary aim.
Download the guide HERE !

Link to the article:
Merci Charlotte from Beyond the Bridge


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