Ad: University of Toronto

Our CISM editions:

more to come …

let’s discuss useful phrases and steps when visiting clinics and pharmacies
Let’s Discuss Useful Phrases and Steps When Visiting Clinics and Pharmacies 
let’s discuss useful phrases and steps when visiting clinics and pharmacies

Let’s Discuss Useful Phrases and Steps When Visiting Clinics and Pharmacies 

When visiting a clinic or pharmacy, it’s helpful to be familiar with some useful phrases to effectively communicate your needs and concerns. In a clinic, you can start by greeting the staff and introducing yourself. It’s essential to provide accurate information and answer any questions asked by healthcare professionals. 

At a pharmacy, you can ask questions about medications using phrases such as “Can you explain the dosage and usage instructions?” or “Are there any potential side effects I should be aware of?” Many different outcomes and conversations can occur during a visit to the doctor or pharmacist, so it is important to be polite and clear in your communication, allowing the clinic and pharmacy staff to provide you with the best care possible.

How can one make an appointment?

When seeking medical care, making an appointment at the reception is often the first step toward receiving the necessary healthcare services. The process of scheduling an appointment involves interacting with the receptionist, who plays a crucial role in coordinating patient visits.

By understanding how to navigate the appointment-making process, patients can effectively communicate their needs and ensure timely access to healthcare professionals. From greeting the receptionist to providing necessary information, making an appointment at the reception sets the stage for a smooth and efficient healthcare experience.

Common phrases for making an appointment/at the reception

  • Hello, I would like to make an appointment, please.
  • I’m a new patient. What information do you need from me?
  • Good morning/afternoon. I need to schedule a visit with [doctor’s name].
  • I would like to see a doctor regarding [specific concern].
  • I’m experiencing [symptoms] and would like to see a healthcare professional.
  • Is it possible to schedule an appointment for [date] at [time]?
  • I prefer an appointment in the morning/afternoon, if available.
  • Do you have any earlier appointments or cancellations?
  • Thank you for assisting me in making this appointment.

When booking an appointment at the reception, be sure to be as descriptive as possible, such as communicating what time/date works best for your appointment, what symptom you are feeling if there is a specific doctor you would like to speak to, cancellation concerns, and more! 

Remember, clinics may have different procedures, so adapt these steps accordingly. It’s also worth noting that some clinics offer online or phone appointment booking options, so inquire about those if they are available.

Ways one can describe their current symptom

When describing your symptoms, it’s important to provide clear and accurate information to help healthcare professionals understand your condition. Here are some steps to effectively describe your symptoms

  1. Be as specific as possible
  2. Describe how long your symptoms have been occurring
  3. Be as descriptive as possible (explaining the sort of pain/discomfort you are in and where exactly it is happening)
  4. Observe and explain if your symptoms or issues worsen in certain environments
  5. Most of all. Be as honest and as open as possible with what is occurring

Common phrases for describing symptoms

  • I’ve got a sore throat that hasn’t gone away in a week
  • I’ve been having this intense headache that is getting worse
  • I have this rash on my elbow that has worsened since my dinner at Thanksgiving
  • I’m very congested and my symptoms have not been decreasing
  • I’ve got a lump on the top of my head that has not disappeared. It doesn’t seem like it is growing anymore but it hurts to touch
  • I’ve got significant pain in my back 
  • I woke up this morning with difficulty breathing 
  • I’ve got very little energy and have had difficulty sleeping 

Doctors, clinics, and others are here to help you get better. As long as you are as descriptive as possible and explain what has happened since your symptoms have shown, you should be helped in no time!

What to say when picking up a prescription?

When picking up a prescription from a pharmacy, effective communication is key to ensure a smooth and successful transaction. Knowing what to say can help streamline the process and ensure that you receive the correct medication and instructions for its use. Here are some common phrases and sentences when doing so:

  • Hello, I’m here to pick up my prescription for [medication name].
  • I believe I have a prescription ready for pickup under my name.
  • Could you please assist me in retrieving my prescription?
  • I would like to collect the medication that was prescribed to me.
  • My doctor recently prescribed [medication name]. Is it ready for pickup?
  • I’m here to pick up a refill for my prescription.
  • Could you confirm the dosage and instructions for [medication name]?
  • Are there any specific storage requirements for this medication?
  • I have a question about the medication. Is there a pharmacist available to speak with?
  • Thank you for preparing my prescription. Is there anything else I need to know?”

What are some common phrases doctors and pharmacists say?

Doctors and pharmacists use various common phrases in their interactions with patients. Here are some examples said by doctors:

  • How can I help you today?
  • Tell me more about your symptoms.
  • What brings you in today?
  • Let’s discuss your medical history.
  • Based on your symptoms, I recommend (This specific medicine)
  • We will need to run some tests to confirm the diagnosis.
  • Here is your prescription for [medication].
  • Make sure to follow up in [timeframe] for a check-up.
  • If your condition worsens, seek immediate medical attention.
  • Do you have any questions or concerns?

Additionally, here are some common phrases said by pharmacists:

  • Can I help you find something?
  • Do you have a prescription for this medication?
  • Here is your prescription, please review the instructions carefully.
  • Do you have any known allergies to medications?
  • This medication should be taken [frequency] with food/water.
  • Possible side effects may include [side effect].
  • It’s important to complete the full course of this medication.
  • If you experience any adverse reactions, contact your doctor immediately.
  • Would you like any additional information or counseling on this medication?
  • Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns.

These phrases provide a general sense of the communication you might encounter with doctors and pharmacists. Actual phrases used may vary depending on the specific context and healthcare provider.

Remember: As long as you are specific, honest, and follow these phrases, your visit to clinics and pharmacies should be easygoing for you!


20+ Common English Phrases for the Doctor’s Office – ESLBUZZ, English phrases to use at the doctors
Share This Post
Additonal Setting with CSS
Related Articles​
Please feel free to contact us about this article
Please note : We will generally reply to you within 2-3 business days. Please contact us at if you don't get any reply from CISM.

Copyright & Disclaimer

The information on this site is for information purposes only. Canada International Student Magazine Inc (CISM) assumes no liability or responsibility for any inaccurate, delayed or incomplete information, nor for any actions taken in reliance thereon. The information contained about each individual, event or organization has been provided by such individual, event organizers or organization, or third parties without verification by us.

Any form of reproduction of any content on this website without the written permission of the publisher, is strictly prohibited. CISM is operated by Canada International Student Magazine Inc. a trademarked company; all rights reserved.

Contact to CISM

Please note : We will generally reply to you within 2-3 business days. Please contact us at if you don't get any reply from CISM.

Do you want to study in Canada?

Ask us any questions about studying here in Canada! Fill out the form and we will get back to you.

subscribe to our newsletter​ icon

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Sign up to our CISM newsletter for International student and Immigration in Canada