Narratives in Medical English


Official data in SubjectManager for the following academic year: 2023-2024

Course director

Number of hours/semester

lectures: 0 hours

practices: 0 hours

seminars: 12 hours

total of: 12 hours

Subject data

  • Code of subject: OFF-N85-T
  • 1 kredit
  • Fogorvos
  • Fakultatív modul
  • Minden félévben


Course headcount limitations

min. 5 – max. 20


Narratives in Medical English covers course material only lightly touched upon in other courses. Time and, in particular, the course curriculum, does not sufficiently allow for in-depth exploration regarding semantics, metaphors, aphorisms, puns and medically themed jargon. All of which, bear and legitimize intense classroom discussion as is the instructor’s professional experience.
In consideration of the students’ academic desires, the instructor envisions a genuine need to submit such a course regarding this veiled, abstruse dimension. In satisfying a need, specifically, educating the student population, a course regarding this subject material will undoubtedly prove beneficial to tomorrow’s physicians as they interact among the first fusillade of patients, and those English-speaking patients are inclined to disperse flavored metaphors into the medical interview.
In addition to the above, other areas of instruction include Medical Abbreviations (English) and expressions used to masquerade pain and suffering.
Justification: The course title depicted above duly implies a strategy deemed relevant in seeking how and why semantics are common to physician’s skills sets when conducting a medical history interview, including robust discussions demonstrating the use of euphemisms and metaphors.
Interestingly, medical jargon and abbreviations likely has some crossover regarding its origins and use in competitive sports and military trauma. Undoubtedly, students will appreciate unveiling the seemingly complex labyrinth in which language is twisted, distorted and hamstrung regarding pain during various forms of athletics, in the specter and under the watchful eye of the public, and also during combat, or and under hostile fire.
Dividend: Students enrolled in this course are assured a front-row seat to effectively uncloaking the mysteries often times permeating in physician/patient dialogue.
From the patient’s perspective, use of metaphors sometimes diminishes anxiety, shame and stress. Regarding the Phyisican’s perspective, he or she uses intelligent English yet is flexible in ratcheting its form and rifling through synonyms until it is clear the patient fully understands.




  • 1. Introduction, Welcome and Course Description discussion. First lecture topic is Epistemology in Medical English.
  • 2. Semantics and Aphorisms in Medical English explained and defined. The study regarding the significance and impact of the meaning in the words and intentions expressed.
  • 3. Euphemisms in Medical English - How you say it may prove more influential in what you say. Enter the realm of euphemisms, sugarcoating and softening the blow in medical health care.
  • 4. Medical Jargon, Puns and Abbreviations as in the form of the vastness regarding technical terminology or characteristic idiom of a special activity, group, profession, or field of study medical jargon.
  • 5. Course Material Review in preparation of Mid-Term Written Exam
  • 6. Mid-Term Written Exam (valued at 25 points).
  • 7. Mid-Term Exam results discussion followed with Metaphors and Idioms in Medical English.
  • 8. Somatic Symptom Disorder and Masquerading Pain in English. This lecture discusses the mentality behind describing pain, depicting pain and concealing pain
  • 9. Sports Expressions used in English. Expressions used in American sports injuries exist in a microcosm of its own. This lecture examines the drama expressed when describing a sports injury.
  • 10. Combat Medical Trauma English. Tactical Combat Casualty Care and Care Under Fire are representatives of the lexicon used by Combat Medics. A closer inspection reveals many other examples and are the subject of the final lecture.
  • 11. Final Oral Exam (valued at 40 points) in the form of an oral abstract featuring themed topics of interest loosely based on the course curriculum. Review and preparation of the Final Written Exam
  • 12. Final Written Exam (valued at 35 points) and Survey.

Reading material

Obligatory literature

Literature developed by the Department

The course instructor will provide the reading materials throughout the semester.


Recommended literature

Conditions for acceptance of the semester

Legfeljebb 15 % hiányzás megengedett

Mid-term exams

Midterm test: week 6 (written)
End-of-term test: week 10-12 (oral written)
Those who fail the exams may participate in the bonus points program, meaning students will be required to hand in extra assignments.

Making up for missed classes

one-on-one consultation

Exam topics/questions

Exam questions will be provided during the semester.


Instructor / tutor of practices and seminars

  • Berta Anikó
  • Dávidovics Anna
  • Dr. Hegedűs Anita
  • Dr. Hild Gabriella
  • Dr. Németh Tímea
  • Egyed Csilla Klára
  • Eklicsné Dr. Lepenye Katalin
  • Krommer Zoltán
  • Kurdiné Molnár Eszter
  • Marquette Jon Eugene
  • Nagy Gabriella
  • Nagy Renáta
  • Szalai-Szolcsányi Judit
  • Szántóné Dr. Csongor Alexandra