Practise Speaking English offers a medically focused English language speaking course. We sometimes get asked if it’s a medical course so I thought I’d write a blog post to clarify that “No, it is not”, but let me explain what the medical course is all about because this is essential information for medical professionals to know if English is not their first language and they wish to practise medicine in the UK.
At present, medical doctors wishing to practice in the UK from outside the EU are required to pass the IELTS exam (International English Language Testing System) with a minimum grading of 7.0 in each of the four parts, this is a lot harder to get than an average rating of 7.0 as is the case with academic requirements.
The problem is that the IELTS Speaking exam is only between 11 and 14 minutes long which is not a lot of time to determine a candidate’s speaking ability, or more importantly, to determine their understanding of the spoken English language. Later on this month, the UK Government will be approaching the European Parliament with a proposal to apply the same English language restrictions on doctors from within the EU that intend to work in the UK, so it will soon become tougher for EU doctors to pass the required English test to work in the UK.
Several years ago, a German doctor practiced on one day in the UK and caused the death of a patient because they could not understand some of the English. Similarly, in Northern Ireland there is currently a case going through the courts which involved a doctor from Pakistan overdosing a small baby resulting in that baby’s death. The doctor has absconded back to Pakistan with no apparent intention to return and face the consequences of his actions.
When talking with patients, a big challenge foreign doctors face is not only being understood but in also understanding what the patient is saying to them. This is particularly relevant when the patient is trying to explain the symptoms to the doctor.
The purpose of the Practice Speaking English Medical Course is to help medical professionals improve their spoken English to at least the level of 7.0, required to pass the IELTS, but ideally to an even higher grade. Because the course involves a total of six students and is purely based on speech, each student develops their capacity to not only speak English but more importantly, to better understand what is being said.
Furthermore, there will be various medical terms, relating the symptoms and treatment, included within the sessions so that doctors wishing to qualify to work in the UK can recognise what patients may well say to them in the future.
The English speaking course for medical professionals follows the same format as the other PSE courses but is more intense and takes students to a higher level than any of the other courses.
To find out more, see the Practise Speaking English Medical Course >