Common Medical English Vocabulary for OET Exam

Posted by oetmaterial on Sep 12, 2017

Common Medical English Vocabulary for OET Exam

Occupational English Test (OET) is different for different professions. Doctor, nurses, physiotherapists, veterinarians etc will have slightly different patterns of the tests (They may all have common listening, writing, and speaking tests but their reading tests would be different). One important thing that binds all professions is medical English. Yes, in order to get through the test, it would be crucial for the test-takers to have a minimum level of English language pertaining to medicine. It would be good to know more of common vocabulary that is used in day-to-day communications.


Here, we have listed down a few of the simple to advanced medical English words which most of the medical professionals come across.


Some common nouns


  • Allergy

  • Paroxysms

  • Intake

  • Biopsy

  • Consent
    Progress

  • Examination

  • Overdose

  • Surgery

  • Course

  • Recurrence

  • Tendency

  • Injection

  • Exercise

  • Treatment

  • Excess

  • Accident

  • Vaccination

  • Rash

  • Ambulance


Some common adjectives


Safe, Poisonous, Compatible, Inoperable, Lethal, Inborn, Incipient, Inactive, Severe, Confused, Motionless, Hygienic, Predisposed, Aware, Delicate, Insanitary, Depressed, Regular, Infectious, Hoarse, Critical, Persistent, Subjective, Infirm, Inflamed, Mobile, Painful, Viable, Deaf, Premature, Excessive, Acute, Bedridden, Obsessive, Tender, Severed, Depressed, Harmful etc.


Some common verbs


  • Operate

  • Vaccinate

  • Soothe

  • Dress

  • Suppress

  • Transfer

  • Suffer

  • Diagnose

  • Treat

  • Cure

  • Endanger

  • Prescribe

  • Spécialisé

  • Harm

  • Perforate

  • Faint

  • Perform

  • Probe

  • Save

  • Admit

  • Prevent

  • Respond


  • Some common phrasal verbs


  • Broke down

  • Takes after

  • Propped up

  • Go down

  • Coughing up

  • Got over

  • Looking after

  • Picked up

  • Drops off

  • Take off

  • Bringing up

  • Got around

  • Give up

  • Knocked out

  • Passed out


Related body parts


Head toe, foot gum, head hip, torso (or leg), tooth, abdomen, torso knuckle, torso navel, torso calf, leg neck, torso chest, torso nipple / chin, head nose, head ear, hand, Achilles tendon, foot, lip, leg (or foot) nail, hand (or foot) buttock, head palm, hand elbow, arm rib, torso eye, foot eyelid, head temple, finger, hand thigh, leg forearm, arm thumb, forehead, head scalp, head eyebrow, head shoulder, torso (or arm) eyelash, leg wrist - arm (or hand)


Some of the commonest word associations


  • Discontinue the treatment

  • Ease the pain

  • Resist some infections

  • Prescribe antibiotics

  • Arrange an appointment

  • Administer a drug

  • Analyze a sample

  • Burp a baby

  • Catch a cold

  • Detect an improvement

Some of the commonest two-word expressions


  • Clinical trial

  • Malignant tumor

  • Biological clock

  • Digestive system

  • Balanced diet

  • Heart attack

  • Plastic surgery

  • Brain death

  • General anaesthetic

  • Bone marrow

  • Surgical intervention

  • Primary tooth

  • Bedside manner

  • Allergic reaction

Some of the commonest plurals used in medical field


Acetabula, Larvae, Chordae, Varices, Fungi, Ganglia, Vill, Fibulae, Glomeruli, Abscesses, Aria, Pontes. Ova,Strata, Feet, Oesophagi, Diagnoses, Humeri, Syringes, Bouts, Joints, Testes, Septa, Cortices


Some common abbreviation


  • WHO: World Health Organization

  • TBI: Total Body Irradiation

  • UV: Ultraviolet

  • VDH: Valvular Disease of the Heart

  • A & E: Accident & Emergency

  • STI: Sexually Transmitted Infection

  • TB: Tuberculosis

  • AIDS: Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome

  • D & V: Diarrhoea & Vomiting

  • RQ: Respiratory Quotient

  • RSI: Repetitive Strain Injury

  • SAD: Seasonal Affective Disorder

  • SIDS: Sudden Infant Death Syndrome

  • DOA: Dead On Arrival

  • GP: General Practitioner

  • HAV: Hepatitis A Virus

  • BMR: Basal Metabolic Rate

  • CAT: Computerised Axial Tomography

  • CHD: Coronary Heart Disease

  • PMA: Progressive Muscular Atrophy

  • PMT: Premenstrual Tension

  • HIV: Human Immunodeficiency Virus

  • MI: Motor Neurone Disease

  • OTC: Over The Counter

  • PM: Post Mort-em

Symptoms / common illnesses


  • Varicella

  • Infectious parotitis

  • Pertussis 8. allergic rhinitis

  • Influenza

  • Rubella

  • Coryza

  • Rubeola


Instruments and equipments


  • Splint

  • Stethoscope

  • Thermometer

  • Tourniquet

  • Hook

  • Drain

  • Gag

  • Stretcher

  • Syringe

  • Catheter

  • Bandage

  • Sling

  • Wheelchair

  • Scalpel

  • Probe

  • Forceps

  • Curette

  • Pipette


Before you sit in an exam like OET test, it is crucial that you should have some mastery over common English vocabulary that is used in every-day medical communications (at hospitals, health centers, clinics, diagnostic centers etc). Therefore, it is important to learn and improve medical knowledge. If you do not have required medical vocabulary then you may find it difficult to get through OET.


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