English-Chinese Medical Vocabulary for Better Practitioner-Patient Encounters

Language barriers can create challenges for healthcare professionals, caregivers and patients alike, and can decrease the quality of healthcare delivery and patient safety.

Knowing the appropriate terms and translations for body parts, symptoms, diagnoses, and treatments, as well as general medical language can help improve practitioner-patient encounters by ensuring clarity and effective communication.

Below are a list of resources in English and Chinese that contain common medical terms, terms for arthritis and osteoporosis, body parts, and more.

These resources can be used by clinicians when meeting with Chinese speaking patients, as well as Chinese patients and caregivers when speaking with health care providers.


Click the title of each resource to be directed to the document or website.

  1. Chinese-English Common Dementia Terms: Document with a list of common dementia terms including organs and structures, signs and symptoms, and treatment and medication.
  2. Chinese-English Regularly Used Medical Terms for Body Parts and Organs: Document with a list of body parts and organs.
  3. Medical Vocabulary A (Traditional Chinese): Document with medical vocabulary.
  4. Medical Vocabulary B (Traditional Chinese): Document with more medical vocabulary.
  5. Medical terminology (Simplified Chinese): Document with additional medical vocabulary.
  6. Commonly used medical vocabulary in Chinese and English (Traditional Chinese): Document with medical vocabulary related to infectious diseases and vaccines, chronic diseases, women’s health, men’s health, nutrition and mental health.
  7. Chinese-English Phrasebook for Medical Encounters: Document with common medical terms and phrases used during a physician-patient encounter.
  8. Medical Interview Questions: Document with common medical questions asked during a doctor’s visit.
  9. Booklet of Medical Terms (Traditional Chinese): Document with more common medical terms and phrases used during a physician-patient encounter.
  10. Chinese-English medical vocabulary: Arthritis and Osteoporosis: Document with medical vocabulary related to arthritis and osteoporosis.
  11. Chinese-English Phrase Workbook: Website for healthcare providers, patients, and/or caregivers to learn medical Mandarin.

8 Easy Ways to Prevent Falling

8 Easy Ways to Prevent Falling

  1. Take all your prescribed medications regularly. If your medications are making you feel unwell, talk to your doctor.
  2. Get an eye exam by an eye doctor every two years.
  3. Drink water. Dehydration can lead to dizziness and falls.
  4. Keep physically active to prevent stiff joints. Consult a physiotherapist about an exercise plan. Check with your doctor before starting an exercise regime.
  5. Get enough sleep at night so you can remain alert during the day.
  6. Use night lights, especially for the path from the bedroom to the bathroom.
  7. Keep your environment clean and clutter free. Prevent falls in the bathroom by ensuring your floors are kept dry and by installing mats in the shower stall.
  8. Limit your alcohol intake and DO NOT mix alcohol with medications.

6 Tips for Managing Your Medication

With today’s advancements in the medical field, humans live longer than they did 30 years ago. This is largely thanks to the scientists who have invented medications used to treat different disease states to maintain health. However, in order for these medications to show their effects, they need to be taken correctly. As consumers of these medications, we can do our part in the following ways:

  • Pay attention and follow the instructions on the prescription vial or box. Some medications need to be taken regularly while some only need to be taken as needed. Therefore, it is important to follow the regimen. Do not skip doses or adjust the dose on your own without discussing with your doctor.
  • Do not use expired medications. Some medications can lose their efficacy after their expiry date while some medications can turn into toxic metabolites that can harm the body.
  • It is always a good idea to know the names of your medications and their indications. This can make discussion of your medications with your doctor/pharmacist way easier.
  • Report any adverse drug reactions that you experience to your doctor or pharmacist immediately. The same medication can have different effects on different people.
  • If your medication regimen is complicated, explore different options to make taking your medications easier. Most pharmacies offer blister pack services and help pre-packing your medications so you don’t need to worry about forgetting to take certain pills. Other options are using a pill organizer, or even using a smartphone app as a reminder.
  • Book an appointment with your pharmacist to review your medications every year. Sometimes, your medication regimen needs to be reviewed according to your current health state. Pharmacists can also review your immunization history to see if you require certain vaccines (such as influenza, shingles, pneumonia) to maintain your health