History Lesson



Read the text.



There are many kinds of doctors, or physicians in the USA. Some doctors take care of general health problems. Other doctors are specialists. They take care of very specific health problems.

General practitioners, or GPs, are also called family doctors. They can give you a general checkup. They prescribe medicine, give shots, take care of common health - care situations. If your doctor finds that you have a serious illness or a special problem, he or she will send you to a specialist.

There are many kinds of specialists - the doctors who each treat patients for only one kind of problem. A dentist takes care of teeth and gums. An ophthalmologist examines eyes and prescribes glasses. Other doctors specialize in other areas of medicine. A gynecologist, also called a GYN, takes care of womens health problems. An obstetrician, also called an OB, takes care of women who are going to have babies. Usually the same doctor is both a GYN and OB. Shortly after the baby is born, the OBs job is done. Then the parents may take the baby either to a GP or to a childrens doctor, who is called a pediatrician.

A surgeon performs operations, or surgery. There are many other kinds of doctors: dermatologists take care of skin problems, allergists treat people with allergies. Still others specialize in heart or bone diseases. A place where many doctors work is called a clinic. Many cities have neighborhood clinics. Some clinics provide health care for people with low income.

            Many large cities have emergency clinics. If you have an accident or a sudden illness, you may go to an emergency clinic. They take care of things like snake bites, broken bones (fractures), burns, earaches, vomiting. You may go there without an appointment. In other cases you need an appointment. You need to call the doctors office and when you speak to the receptionist, you should talk about:


- why you want to see the doctor: a bad cough, a pain in your side, a problem with your digestion and so on. Or you just want to have a general physical exam.

- Give a general time when you would like to see the doctor. For example, you are supposed to say, On Monday. Or: As soon as possible. If you have an emergency let the receptionist know.

- Ask about payment. You will need to know how much the doctor charges. Ask if you will need to pay when you visit or if you may pay later.



Ex.1. Make your own vocabulary of the words and phrases that you would use to discuss the topic Visiting a Doctor.  Some of the words are in the text above.

For example:


       Action words                   Naming words                             Describing words


to visit the doctor                     doctor, physician                                 healthy

to examine                               specialist                                             unwell, ill, sick

to be examined                        GP- general practitioner                       general

to prescribe                             pediatrician                                          weak, tired

...                                                        ...                                            ...



Ex.2. Match  the right and the left columns.



If  I .....                                                                      I will...

   1 cut my finger                                                     a) have to give a general time when I

                                                                                       would like to see the doctor.

   2 have a fever                                                      b) be taken to the emergency clinic.

   3 break my leg                                                    c) go to the dentist.

   4.have a stomach ache                                                     d) bandage it.

   5 have to see the doctor                                                   e) take some aspirin.

   6 am asked about the day and time of                   f) call the doctor and stay in bed.

         an appointment  

   7 have a headache                                               g) have an X-ray examination.

   8 want to have a general physical exam                 h) have to have an appointment.

   9 have a toothache                                               i) call an ambulance.

 10 have the flu                                                      j) take some pain killer.

 11 have a pain in my side                                        k) call the doctors office and talk to

                                                                                          the receptionist. 


Enjoy the poem. 



                                                                            by Shel Silverstein.


I cannot go to school today ,                                    My back is wrenched, my ankles sprained,

Said little Peggy Ann McKay.                          My pendix pains each time it rains.

I have the measles and the mumps,                 My  nose is cold, my toes are numb,

A gash, a rash and purple bumps.                    I have a sliver in my thumb.

My mouth is wet, my throat is dry,                   My neck is stiff, my voice is weak,

Im going blind in my right eye.                         I hardly whisper when I speak.

My tonsils are as big as rocks.                         My tongue is filling up my mouth.

Ive counted 16 chicken pox.                          I think my hair is falling out.

And theres one more-thats seventeen,                       My elbows bent, my spine aint straight,

And dont you think my face looks green?       My temperature is one-o-eight.**

My leg is cut, my eyes are blue-          *                      My brain is shrunk, I cannot hear,

I might be dying with the flu.                           Theres a hole in my ear.

I cough and sneeze and gasp and choke,                     I have a hangnail, and my heart is -what?

Im sure that my left leg is broken -                  Whats that? Whats that you say?

My hip hurts when I move my chin,                  You say today is ... Saturday?

My belly buttons caving in,                             Gbye, Im going out to play!!!  



* blue

* *one-o-eight =108F ( temperature in Fahrenheit ) = 40C



Read the text.



It is not easy to get into a veterinary school. Not many universities have veterinary colleges. Competition is stiff for the few places available in freshman classes. High school preparation is the same as it is for students planning any medical career. They learn lots of chemistry, physics, as well as biology. Three years of math is recommended. If you are going to be a vet you need strong grades in all your subjects. Seven or eight years of college are required for a DVM (Doctor of Veterinary Medicine) degree. Then you can expect to intern or work for a practicing vet for 2 or 3 years.  Not until then you are really qualified to go into practice on your own.

There are a number of specialists in veterinary medicine. The largest specialty* is in small animals, simply because there are so many pets that need to look after. In rural areas, a large animal practice is an important specialty. The vet is supposed to travel much, because it is not possible to bring a sick horse or cow to the vets office. Some large animal specialists have an equine practice and treat only horses. You will find one or two equine specialists where race horses are bred, or where riding is a popular sport. More and more vets are specializing even further, just as people doctors do. There are surgeons, neurologists (for diseases of the nervous system), and orthopedic surgeons (bones and muscles). There are even a few psychiatrists who treat dogs and cats with personality problems.

It takes a very special kind of person to be a veterinarian. Animal patients do not understand why the doctor is treating them. Sick or well, they would rather be left alone. Instead of thanks for making a patient well, a vet is just as likely to get nipped, scratched, or kicked, if he or she is not careful. The loving licks belong to the animals owners. And its the owners who are grateful to a good vet who gives them back a well** pet.


Answer the questions


   1. Why is it difficult to get into a veterinary school in the USA?

   2. What about Russia?

   3. Do you have this kind of school in your region?

   4. You would certainly study biology if you want to work with animals. What other subjects are mentioned in the text?

   5. What kind of animals does a doctor with an equine practice treat?

   6. If your pet suffers a broken leg, what kind of specialist can provide the most expert treatment?

   7. If your dog hides under the bed frequently and growls at you, what problems does your dog have?  What kind of specialist might you take your dog?

   8. Do you agree that not everyone could be a good vet?

   9. There is a list of words for you to choose the most important ones that would characterize a good vet.

      Patient, kind, industrious, sacrificing, learned, careful, skillful, wise, loving, cool-headed, smart, brave, clever, honest


*specialty = speciality;

**well - In good health E.g.  She had the flu, but she is well now.

(Dictionary The American Heritage. English as a Second Language HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY, BOSTON, NEW YORK, 1998)