Medical French Course

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27th Residential Weekend Course in Medical French

12th -14th April 2019, Faculté de Médecine, Université Catholique de Lille, France

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There are potentially many opportunities for British doctors to practise medicine in French – but only if they can communicate with their patients and colleagues.

This course is now in its twenty-seventh year. We chose to run the course in France as a celebration of the silver anniversary in 2017.  The enthusiasm for France as a venue has led us to book in Lille again for 2019. This course provides an invaluable foundation for those planning to work or undertake student electives in French-speaking countries, or to work with organisations such as Médecins sans Frontières. Our main aim is to provide an essential medical vocabulary and the confidence to use it.

Format of the Course

The teaching programme has been designed specifically by linguists, doctors and educational experts in Britain and France. Sessions are in small groups and led by experienced French speakers who are all doctors. The content focuses on everyday communicating in a clinical setting. Throughout the weekend, all participants are encouraged to speak and discuss so that they can build up their confidence. We get you TALKING!

A valuable part of the course is networking with those who have first hand experience of working as medics in French. We also offer a choice of workshops during the weekend to allow delegates to choose topics to explore in more depth.

An extensive course handbook containing key vocabulary and phrases will be sent out in the month prior to the course. You aren’t expected to learn this, but it’s helpful to read through the introductory chapters in advance.

NEWSFLASH – students attending the 2019 Medical French Course will have the chance to win a fully funded place at the AFMS-AMFB Annual Conference 2019 in Montpellier,France

More details soon.

How well do you have to speak French?

The course is specifically designed to accommodate all levels of linguistic expertise, from rudimentary to fluent. Most participants have studied French to at least “O”-Level/GCSE standard (generally within the last few decades). You are asked to complete a short and painless questionnaire to help us in grouping together people of similar French–speaking ability. The course has PGEA approval for 9 hours. It has also been approved by the Regional Postgraduate Dean, and may therefore be eligible for study leave and funding at the discretion of local Clinical Tutors.

Come and join us for a fun hard work, hard play weekend.  Medicine in French, just have a go!

Topics to be covered include:

  • Speciality vocabulary covered
  • How to take a history and examine a patient in French
  • How to survive on ward rounds and in clinics
  • Talking to patients, relatives and colleagues
  • How to find your way around a French hospital (including bleeps, phones, labs, etc.)
  • Investigations: ECG, X-rays, blood tests, etc. (how to request, chase up, interpret and talk about them)
  • Practical procedures, operations and emergencies

Feedback from recent courses has consistently praised the quality and content of the teaching, its usefulness for both doctors and students, and its value for money – as well as a hugely enjoyable weekend.

A testimonial from a delegate

“I attended the course prior to my medical elective in Paris. Despite being a student with bilingual proficiency (English/French), I really wanted an insight into what a life in medicine in France was. Moreover I soon realised that medical French is a whole new language at times! The pre-course questionnaire sent is hugely helpful to gauge one’s level in French. It certainly confirms that the course welcomes people of all levels. And I think it also gives one something to aim for. Whether it’s about learning some of the key phrases, building up and practising French, or simply refreshing and brushing up on one’s rusty French!

The course setting is amazing to say the least; for the price, delegates are provided ensuite accommodation, meals and social events! Even as a student, I found it to be very reasonably priced for the quality of the facilities. The ‘teaching’ itself is divided into large group talks and small group tutorials, which rotate around different tutors, each of whom has a specific topic to go over. The small groups make it much easier to practise speaking in French comfortably as all the groups tend to consist of people of similar levels. All of the tutors are native French speakers or fluent in it as a second language.

I really enjoyed the idea of encouraging everyone to speak in French rather than English over the weekend! Even if it was slightly daunting at first, everyone got into it by the end! The whole course is structure is very informal and maintains a very relaxed atmosphere amongst delegates and faculty. This invariably meant that we soon became very comfortable with the notion of French over English.

Another cornerstone of the course is the course manual! It has been very useful as a quick reference guide of simple medical phrases while on elective! The course enabled us to build a good network of people studying/working in France, and gave us an accurate insight of how it is to work in the French healthcare system. Those who were starting to think about electives found it very helpful to discuss ideas and projects with other delegates and doctors from France or other French-speaking countries.

Despite being fluent (albeit rusty) in French, I benefited vastly from being able to practise medical French and informal history-taking in French with people. It’s a must-do for anyone who’s thinking of doing an elective in a French-speaking country or indeed working in one!”

 Feedback from Delegates

  • Really enjoyed the course. Lovely to spend the weekend with others with so much enthusiasm and interesting stories and experiences.
  • Exceeded my expectations. I had not appreciated the value of meeting others and making connections.
  • Workshops were great, more please!
  • Excellent organization, high standard of teaching, good resources and help given but most importantly very friendly.
  • Groups are a good size, one weekend is a perfect amount of time.
  • Great opportunities to find out about training and elective experiences in France.
  • All tutors were excellent and brought different skills and experiences.
  • Brilliant teaching, experienced tutors, relaxed environment.
  • I would definitely recommend it to others. Beyond my expectations.

The course fees include en suite accommodation, all meals including a gala dinner on the Saturday evening, tea and coffee, and a comprehensive course handbook covering general vocabulary, the systems of the body, primary care, medical emergencies, prescribing, etc.

2019 Prices:

Students £285 (shared room), £315 (single room) 

FY1 and FY2 £485

Doctors and other professionals £585

Early bird discount of £30 discount for doctors and FY1/2 who book and pay prior to January 31 2019

The 2019 course had places for 30 doctors and 30 students. Recent courses were heavily over-subscribed; early application is advised. The 2020 course dates will be coming soon.

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For registration or further information, contact:

Christine Greenwood, School of Clinical Sciences, Clinical Sciences Centre,

University Hospital Aintree, Longmoor Lane, Liverpool L9 7AL.

Tel: 0151 529 5885   Fax: 0151 529 5888   email: