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to think that doctors should speak English?

72 replies

Laquitar · 21/04/2011 20:54

I had to see a different doctor today and she was not speaking english. Well she did but very bad. Even i was Shock with her grammar fgs and my english grammar is bad.
We had to repeat everything 4-5 times, very hard to communicate.

I dont care if the taxi driver speaks english or not, ditto the dry cleaner, the store cashier etc. But can you trust the doctor when she doesn't speak english?

OP posts:
shakey1500 · 21/04/2011 20:55

She was "speaking bad grammar"????? ROFL :)

rainbowinthesky · 21/04/2011 20:57

I heard that people who don't speak english well can't actually be doctors. They don't actually have proper doctors in other countries you know.

Oh wait, I am speaking crap.

Bex22 · 21/04/2011 20:58

I think the issue is that it is really important that you understand what the doctor is saying- I don't particularly care about grammar or accent but the words need to be clear. We have had the problem several times, like you, where doctors have such strong accents that you can't understand the majority of what they are saying, let alone the medical terminology. Let's face it, this could be vital info that you're missing also!

feggyart · 21/04/2011 20:59

I actually agree with the heart of your OP

they may well be an excellent doctor but should be able to communicate effectively.


cookcleanerchaufferetc · 21/04/2011 20:59

It is completely unacceptable as there may be incorrect information given or understood. Whilst in the majority of cases I am sure it is just inconvenient there have been cases where a death has been the result. Anyone working with the public should speak fluent English, regardless of the profession.

Champersonice · 21/04/2011 21:01

Depends what country you are in... Wink

AgentZigzag · 21/04/2011 21:01

I understand what you're saying (-just Grin) but I think YABU because I'm just grateful they are seeing me - and I don't have to pay more than my taxes.

I love the NHS and don't like anyone putting it down just for the sake of it.

CristinaTheAstonishing · 21/04/2011 21:03

Where was this doctor from? You have to pass an English language test to practice (look at the GMC website). Few countries are exempt.

By the way, why did you have to repeat everything 4-5 times? Is your accent very strong as well?

jojowest · 21/04/2011 21:04

i went to see a consultant for an eye problem a while back, couldnt understand a word he said

i went back to my gp and asked him to explain it to me lol

mercibucket · 21/04/2011 21:05

Of course they should be able to communicate in the main language of the country they operate it. It's ridiculous if they can't. They need to be able to understand you and you them. perhaps you could ask for a translator next time

MrsBananaGrabber · 21/04/2011 21:05

When I was pregnant with DS1 10 years ago I was taken into a side room after a scan to be given some news (turned out to be nothing) and the doctor that had to explain the problem had a very strong accent, so much so that he had an nurse with him to help us understand what was being said, he was sweet enough but I felt it was inappropriate.

WorzselMummage · 21/04/2011 21:05

My DD was delivered by a west african man who's accent was so strong I didn't have a scooby doo what he was saying.

It's not ideal.

GeorgeEliot · 21/04/2011 21:06

Would you have had the same problem if the doctor had, say, a very strong geordie accent?

Because I sometimes find that hard to understand.

AgentZigzag · 21/04/2011 21:06

The OP hasn't said the Dr wasn't from the UK either, she could have just had a broad Geordie or Scottish accent Grin

I'm thinking the subtitles in Trainspotting Grin

LadyShapes · 21/04/2011 21:06

I don't understand Shakey1500's point.

And OP, YANBU - but people are going to have a go at you for being critical of forriners - it's not allowed remember, even if it is a valid point in this instance!

mercibucket · 21/04/2011 21:06

isn't it only for doctors outside the EU though, the English test? not sure myself but the daily mail leads me to believe so

AgentZigzag · 21/04/2011 21:07

X-posts with you george, we must be right Grin

Bex22 · 21/04/2011 21:07

Think people are being a little bit hyper-analytical- I think it's a reasonable comment to begin with. Passing an English language test is very different from using language in an everyday context, and I don't think this is putting down the NHS for the sake of it at all. It is a valid criticism of a very small minority of doctors, but as CCC says, it has sometimes been cited as a cause of medical negligance.

Whatevs · 21/04/2011 21:08

The (Indian) doc that dealt with me after DD was born barely spoke English. he still managed to be lovely, caring, picked up DD's jaundice and ascertain the fact I needed a blood transfusion almost instantly. He was generally the most caring and lovely doctor.

Language needn't always be a barrier.

AgentZigzag · 21/04/2011 21:08

I think she was talking about 'Even i was Shock with her grammar fgs and my english grammar is bad.' LadyShapes?

Bex22 · 21/04/2011 21:09

Plus it's not a criticism of foreigners, just specifically of people who struggle with the language they are practising medicine in.

Goblinchild · 21/04/2011 21:10

I think it's a reasonable comment, you need to understand what a doctor is telling you, otherwise what's the point of her/him talking to you?
Same for a dentist, midwife or a teacher really. Regardless of where the accent is from.

Einsteinolonger · 21/04/2011 21:10

Sorry, but I don't have time for bigots.

CristinaTheAstonishing · 21/04/2011 21:11

From the GMC's website here some of the situations were you may be exempt from the language test: "Your course of study was taught and examined solely in English

At least 75% of any clinical interaction which took place as part of your course of study (including personal contact with patients, their families and other healthcare professionals) was conducted in English."

mumblechum1 · 21/04/2011 21:14

It's not bigoted to be concerned that you and your doctor can't understand each other.

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