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Basic Spanish for Physical Exam for Medical Professionals

Updated on March 29, 2015

Spanish and Medicine

As anyone in the medical field knows, it is becoming increasingly useful for medical professionals to speak Spanish. The more Spanish you speak, the less you have to rely on a medical interpreter. You should ALWAYS get a medical interpreter for your Spanish-speaking patients if you are not FLUENT in Spanish, but this Spanish can help you do a basic physical exam while you are waiting for an interpreter or so that you can maximize your time with the interpreter by using them for a thorough history and for discussing your treatment plan instead of translating these easy to learn phrases.

If you are interested in learning more Spanish, check out I wrote a review of the Podcast here.

Phrases and Commands for Physical Exam


No tenga miedo.

Don't be afraid. (Great for Pediatrics)

Indique dónde le duele (con un dedo).

Show me where it hurts (with one finger).


Abra la boca.

Open your mouth.

Saque la lengua.

Stick out your tongue.

Diga "ah."

Say "ah."

Voy a examinar la nariz.

I'm going to examine your nose.

... los oídos.

...your ears

...los ojos.

...your eyes

No se mueva.

Don't move.

Mire la luz.

Look at the light.

...este punto.

...this dot/point.


Respire normal.

Breathe normally.

No respire.

Don't breathe.


Respire profundo.

Breathe deeply.

Otra vez.

Again. Another time.




Acuéstese (boca arriba).

Lie down (on your back).

¿Le duele aquí?

Does it hurt here?

¿Más dolor aquí o acá?

More pain here or here?


Necesito examinar la genitalia.

I need to examine your genitalia.

Desvístase, por favor.

Get undressed, please.

Póngase la bata.

Put on the gown.

Puede vestirse ahora.

You can get dressed now.



Sit down.

Doble el brazo.

Bend your arm.

… la rodilla.

… your knee.

… el tobillo.

…. your ankle.

Extienda el brazo.

Extend your arm.

Haga esto.

Do this.


Haga esto.

Do this.

Mire el dedo.

Watch my finger.

… la luz.

... the light.

Are there any other phrases you wish you had to help with a physical exam?


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    • Joe Bricky profile image

      Joe Bricky 

      7 years ago from Northern Nevada

      This is really cool. Today, I was training an MA on workflow changes to meet meaningful use objectives. The Nurse Practioner walks out of the exam room and complains to the MA that there needs to be two people on staff today because she doesn't speak Spanish. :) And, now I see this article. LMFAO at the moment. Thank you. This will be copied and passed on to a few medical practices here in Central CA.


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