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medical phrasal verbs

20 medical phrasal verbs

20 medical phrasal verbs

When learning Medical English it’s important not only to pay attention to specific medical vocabulary but also to phrasal verbs used by medical professionals, which make the language sound more natural. Here are 20 Medical English phrasal verbs

1️⃣ follow up

To follow up means to check on a patient’s progress or condition after an initial consultation or treatment, to make sure they are recovering or responding well to the treatment.

The doctor asked the patient to return in two weeks so he could follow up on her recovery and adjust the treatment if necessary.
The doctor made a note in the patient’s file to follow up on their progress in managing their diabetes during their next appointment.

2️⃣ check up on

To check up on means to examine a patient’s condition or progress.

The doctor decided to check up on Mr. Smith to see how he was recovering from his surgery.
The nurse planned to check up on the patient later in the evening to monitor their recovery from the procedure.

3️⃣ rule out

To rule out means to eliminate a possibility after thorough examination or consideration.

After several tests, the doctor was able to rule out a bacterial infection as the cause of her symptoms.
After a thorough examination, the doctor ruled out the possibility of a viral infection and focused on other potential causes.

4️⃣ look into

To look into something means to examine or investigate a medical issue or symptom further.

The doctor said he would look into the patient’s persistent cough to determine its cause.
The medical team decided to look into the patient’s dietary habits to understand the cause of their nutritional deficiencies.

5️⃣ hold off on

To hold off on something means to delay or postpone an action, treatment, or procedure.

The doctor advised to hold off on taking antibiotics until further tests could confirm the infection.
The doctor chose to hold off on starting chemotherapy until the patient’s overall health improved.

6️⃣ keep up with

To keep up with means to maintain or stay current with a treatment plan or medical progress.

Sarah needed to keep up with her medication schedule to manage her blood pressure effectively.
To ensure her treatment was effective, Karen had to keep up with her therapy sessions regularly.

7️⃣ look over

To review or examine something carefully, such as medical records or reports.

The doctor took some time to look over the patient’s lab results before making a diagnosis.
The new physician looked over the patient’s previous medical records to understand their history better.

8️⃣ cut back on

To cut back on something means to reduce the amount of something, such as medication or unhealthy foods.

The doctor recommended that John cut back on sugary snacks to manage his diabetes.
The doctor advised the patient to cut back on their alcohol consumption to help lower their blood pressure.

9️⃣ cut out

To cut something out means to completely eliminate something from your life or diet, such as a medication or habit.

The nutritionist advised Mary to cut out soda from her diet to improve her health.
The dietitian recommended the patient cut out processed foods from their diet entirely to improve their health.

🔟 build up

To build up means to gradually increase something, such as a treatment or strength.

The physiotherapist helped the patient build up their muscle strength after the injury.
The physiotherapist created an exercise plan to help build up the patient’s flexibility and strength gradually.

Medical English on the ELLA platform.

1️⃣1️⃣ ease off

To ease off means to gradually decrease something, such as medication dosage or the amount of exercise.

The doctor instructed the patient to ease off the painkillers as their recovery progressed.
The doctor told the patient to ease off their physical activities to prevent aggravating their back injury.

1️⃣2️⃣ fill out

To fill something out means to complete a form or document, such as a medical questionnaire or insurance paperwork.

The receptionist asked the patient to fill out the new patient form before their appointment.
The patient had to fill out an insurance claim form to cover the costs of the recent surgery.

1️⃣3️⃣ go ahead with

To go ahead with means to proceed with a treatment, procedure, or action.

After considering all options, the doctor decided to go ahead with the surgery.
After weighing all options, the doctor decided to go ahead with the treatment.

1️⃣4️⃣ bring on

To bring on means to cause or trigger something, such as a symptom or reaction.

The new medication brought on side effects like dizziness and nausea.
The stress of the situation brought on an asthma attack, requiring immediate medical attention.

1️⃣5️⃣ put off

To put off means to delay or postpone a treatment, action, or appointment.

The patient put off going to the doctor, causing their condition to worsen.
The patient decided to put off elective surgery until after the busy holiday season.

1️⃣6️⃣ speak up

To speak up means to tell the doctor what concerns or issues you have with your symptoms or treatment.

The patient spoke up about their persistent pain, prompting the doctor to adjust the treatment plan.
The patient felt uncomfortable with the treatment plan but hesitated to speak up and voice their concerns.

1️⃣7️⃣ watch over

To watch over means to monitor or observe someone or something closely, such as a patient or medical condition.

The nurse watched over the patient throughout the night to ensure there were no complications.

1️⃣8️⃣ wash off

To wash off means to clean or remove dirt, germs, or makeup from one’s skin or body.

The surgeon made sure to wash off thoroughly before scrubbing in for the operation.
After assisting in the emergency surgery, the nurse rushed to the sink to wash off the blood and disinfect her hands.

1️⃣9️⃣ breathe in

To breathe in means to inhale or take in air, often for breathing exercises or medical tests.

The doctor asked the patient to breathe in deeply before using the stethoscope to listen to their lungs.
During the lung function test, the patient was asked to breathe in deeply and hold their breath for a few seconds.

2️⃣0️⃣ turn in

To turn in means to hand over something, such as medical paperwork or test results.

The nurse reminded the patient to turn in their completed medical history form at the front desk.
After collecting the urine sample, the nurse instructed the patient to turn it in at the laboratory for analysis.

Interested in deepening your medical language skills? Don’t miss our article on nursing vocabulary — it’s the perfect complement to your study of medical phrasal verbs!

Your online Medical English course on the ELLA elearning platform.

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