You may have heard the France has actually universal healthcare, yet there are some other things about healthcare in France that can surprise you.

One that those is exactly how to to speak “doctor” in French! starting with that an extremely important point, stop talk around doctors and healthcare in France.

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How carry out you to speak “doctor” in French?


There space three common ways to say “doctor” in French:

un médecin

le docteur/Dr.

un/une toubib

These refer to a medical doctor, no someone with adoctorate (advanced) degree. We’ll talk around the word for that form of doctora bit additional on.

For now, stop ‘examine’ each French native for medical doctor much more closely!

un médecin

Use médecin when talking about a medical professional without theirname and without addressing lock directly. Because that example: Je suis malade, je vais chez le médecin. (I’msick, ns going to the doctor’s.)

Here room a couple of important things to store in mind around the native médecin:

In French spoken in France, médecin is always masculine.

About44.3% of physicians in France room female, however unlike many job titles inFrench, médecin continues to be a woman noun even if she talking around a femaledoctor.

This no the instance in every Francophone countries. Because that example, in Canadian French, you would certainly say une médecin or une docteure because that a female doctor. Words doctoresse is offered in Swiss and Belgian French. You might say the sexist to keep médecin, a historically male job, together an solely masculine noun. Yet on the other hand, friend could additionally argue that giving job titles different forms follow to the gender of the person performing them is sexist. You deserve to read a bit more about gendered nouns and the gender equality motion here.

Médecin have the right to be used without one article.

Remember that when you talk about what who does in French, you don’t use an article. So, while you will do say “Cecilia is a doctor” in English, you’d say Cecilia est médecin in French.

Médecin method “doctor” yet it’s no a task title.

You don’t usage médecin once referring to a medical professional by name or once addressing a physician directly. A doctor’s location is Docteur, abbreviated Dr.

So, you would certainly say: Il a pris rendez-vous avec le meilleur médecin de la ville. (He made an appointment with the ideal doctor in the city.) but if you want to particularly name the ideal doctor in the city, you’d have to switch come docteur: Le docteur Durand est le meilleur médecin de la ville. (Dr. Durand is the best doctor in the city.)

le docteur

When talking about a specific person that is a doctor, orwhen speaking to them directly, you use their title, which is docteur (abbreviatedDr.) in French.

For example, Le docteur Dupont est mon fils (Dr. Dupont is mine son.) or J’ai rendez-vous avec le docteur Dupont (I have actually an appointment with Dr. Dupont.)

Note that uneven you’re directly addressing the doctor, youalways incorporate the article le (the), even though you’d just say “doctor”in English.

So for instance, you could say, J’ai rendez-vous avec ledocteur Dupont. (I have an appointment through Dr. Dupont.). However if you’retalking to Dr. Dupont, girlfriend don’t need the article: Bonjour, Dr. Dupont.

Note the if we already know the doctor’s name, or if it’s implied in part other means that the specific doctor is known, you could use docteur without the name. For example, L’infirmière m’a dit que le docteur est très sympathique. (The nurse told me that the medical professional is very nice.)

As through médecin, docteur is a woman noun, even if the doctor in inquiry is female, so usage le docteur even when talking around a woman. Together I’ve pointed out previously, this is the case in France but not in numerous other Francophone countries.

Note that while castle aren’t described as médecins, human being in other medical professions, including dentists (dentistes) and also veterinarians (vétérinaires) additionally have the title of docteur.


un/une toubib

Toubib is casual or slang term because that “doctor” inFrench.

There are a couple of other French slang terms because that doctor, like docand médic, but personally, I’ve just seen those two indictionaries. Toubib, ~ above the various other hand, is everywhere, from movie and also (translated)TV display titles, to day-to-day language.

A many French slang is derived from typical French words,but you’ve more than likely noticed the toubib no seem to have any type of etymologicalconnection with médecin or docteur. Yes a reason for that:It’s actually borrowedfrom the Arabic word for “doctor”, tbib. During the duration of Frenchcolonization in Algeria (ca. 1830-1962), French soldiers and also colonists took aliking come the word, which at some point made its means to mainland France as well.

Unlike médecin and also docteur, toubib canbe used with a masculine or feminine article: un toubib/une toubib.

Note the you don’t have to include an “e” come the end when youuse it with a feminine article. Aside from that, toubib complies with all the othertypical French grammar rules (take out the article when referring to it together someone’sprofession, add an “s” when making the plural, etc.).

Toubib is an informal word, although the certainlynot vulgar. But like a term choose “doc” in English, you probably shouldn’t useit in formal, professional, or academic settings, or when addressing a doctor.

Here space some instances of how to use toubib:

Tu devraisparler avec ma sœur, elle est toubib. (You should talk to mine sister, she’s a doctor.)

Jean est allé voir le toubib. (Jeanwent to check out the doctor.)

Tu connais un bon toubib dans ce quartier ? (Do you understand a an excellent doctor in this neighborhood?)

How come say “doctor” in French once referring come a holder that a doctorate

As in plenty of other cultures, human being who host a medical professional of Philosophyor any type of equivalent level are described as docteur in French.

Just favor the means it’s supplied to talk about a medical doctor,in French talked in France, this location is always masculine nevertheless ofwhether the person is male or female.

You have the right to use docteur, an interpretation a holder that a doctor of Philosophy,in two ways:

1. To describe aspecific human being with this title: Le docteur Gaillard est connu to water sesrecherches dans le domaine de l’écologie. Dr. Gaillard is known forhis ecology-related research.

2. To refer to a who title/specialty: Eloise est docteuren littérature francaise. (Eloise has a doctorate in Frenchliterature.)

Although you usage an article when talking about a doctor, when you deal with them directly, you simply say Docteur (abbreviated as Dr. In written French). Because that example: C’est un vrai plaisir de vous rencontrer, Dr. Perrin. J’ai trouvé votre dernier livre passionnant. (It’s a pleasure to satisfy you, Dr. Perrin. I discovered your latest book absolutely fascinating.)

How execute you talk around medical experts in France?

Here’s what some common varieties of medical specialists are referred to as in France.

Note that several of these words have a shortened type thatpeople often use in day-to-day language. While no disrespectful, this areinformal and also shouldn’t be used when you talk to the actual specialist, or informal/academic settings.

Another thing to note: as you’ll see even from this shortlist, many medical specializations have the right to be masculine or feminine, or even have aseparate masculine and also feminine form.

un chirurgien/une chirurgienne – surgeon

un/une kinésithérapeute – physical therapist/physiotherapist. You’ll frequently hear this to reduce in day-to-day language as un/une kiné.

un/une dermatologue – dermatologist. You’ll often hear this reduce in everyday language together un/une dermato.

un/une psychiatre -psychiatrist. You’ll often hear this to reduce in daily language as un/une psy.

As in English, all of these medical professionals have the title docteur.

You deserve to find much more words because that specific types of medical professionals in French here, and on this helpful collection that French medical vocabulary lists.

How go the French medical care system work?


Although many other countries have state-provided,“socialized medicine”, in my personal experience, France seems one of thebiggest targets for people who are (inexplicably, come me) versus universalhealthcare.

In reality, the French healthcare system is currently ranked together the best in the world.

And together someone who stays in France, I obtain it.

Many backbiting of universal medical care seem come think the itmeans medical experts don’t need to study because that as long or have actually as manyqualifications. However in France, physicians in all areas of medication are highlytrained. That takes as much as twelve year of clinical school in France to become adoctor, depending on specialization. You deserve to read an ext details around Frenchmedical school here and here.

Another idée reçue is that nations with socializedmedicine lack doctors. This is due to the fact that less people feel the inspiration to research medicine,since it doesn’t pay and it does in nations like the US. This can bea trouble in various other countries, but not for this reason in France. Regardless of long researches andnot being paid expensive salaries, there space about32 clinical doctors every 1,000 French people. The price in the united state is lower, withabout 26 per 1,000 people.

Statistics aside, together someone who’s supplied the Frenchhealthcare system for more than a decade, I’ve virtually never had a problemgetting one appointment v a GP, even sometimes a last-minute, same-day one. Ithelps that you can choose to go to any doctor you want; there are norequirements tied to insurance, although you have to declare a médecintraitant (regular doctor) and will be reimbursed an ext if you have actually a medicalvisit with him or her, quite than one more one. When it pertains to specialists,there can be much longer waits, yet that’s not always the case, either.

Prenatal treatment in France is likewise impressive, v no costsfor fantastic public hospital care. I had actually monthly hospital visits, specialsonograms since of an at-risk pregnancy, tests, and even prenatal sessionswith a midwife (standard in France) fully cost-free. It likewise cost menothing to get an epidural, supply my infant in a hospital, and also stay in thehospital for 3 days. This three-day stay is standard in France. The onlything you need to pay because that is a small fee to usage the TV in your room, if youwant to!

As for various other non-GP care, many of it is at the very least partiallyreimbursed by social security, especially if you acquire a referral from your GP. Speakingof reimbursement, you typically pay a small upfront dues for treatment – because that instance,a visit to your GP, will cost around 25 euros as of this writing, and also slightlyhigher because that pediatric visits. National medical care will reimburse a vast majorityof that. If you additionally have one optional exclusive insurance policy (une mutuelle),sometimes you will become reimbursed 100% for doctor’s visits andmedication. Even if you don’t, the costs are really low – return French peopleare so offered to gift reimbursed that they’ll more than likely tell you it’s expensiveto see a GP if you don’t have French or European wellness insurance!

Speaking that that, among the plenty of things i love about theFrench medical care system is that if you’re not French, a holder that a titre de séjour(green card) , or an EU member, you may not gain reimbursed because that care, but youalso aren’t paying astronomical sums that money.

Another admirable thing about the French healthcare system is that health and wellness is approached in a collective way. Everyone has actually a best to medical treatment here. If you can’t afford clinical care, all prices will be covered for you.

That said, yes, ns do need to pay taxes that go towardsfunding all of this, yet it’s not so bad, especially when you consider thatmany civilization in the united state will need to pay out-of-pocket for at the very least somehealthcare expenses or deductibles.

The French healthcare system is additionally dealing through somebudgetary problems and their repercussions: strikes (although it’s forbidden tocompletely refuse or close up door down access to healthcare, also when doctors and also staffare striking).

But overall, it’s worth it – and I’m no alone in thinkingthat; as this short article mentions,regardless of politics leanings, and despite the French tendencyto complain about just around anything, universal healthcare is other anoverwhelming majority of French people appreciate. I constantly laugh at how someof the americans I understand are horrified by the idea of global healthcare, andhow the French space horrified by not having actually it.

If you want a much more detailed look in ~ the French health care system, this short article has a lot of fantastic information.

The dirty mystery of the French medical care system

Not all parts of French hospitals are as clean as the operation rooms.

The French medical care system is considered the ideal in the world, however nothing’s perfect.

For example, as I mentioned, countless healthcare workers are onstrike or have actually gone/will go on strike because of the effects of budget plan cuts, aswell as other issues.

But because that an American prefer me, the most evident downside ofthe French healthcare system is one you can not expect.

France has fantastic healthcare, but due to the fact that it’s low-costor even free, it’s likewise no-frills, even to the point of gift a bit shockingsometimes.

While operating rooms and also other areas that need to be sterile and state-of-the-art look comparable to what most Americans expect, many public spaces in French hospitals room shabby, also dirty.

For instance, we’ve bring away my boy to the emergency room at l’hôpital Robert Debré, a renowned French children hospital. The staff was great and everything essential for taking treatment of my kid was there, however the wait room to be dingy and also hadn’t to be cleaned in a while. Crumbs indigenous kids’ snacks littered the floor. A puddle of some unidentified liquid was pooled in a corner.

Even biology comforts you could find in part Americanpediatric ER’s no present. The just chairs were hard, uncomfortable woodenones. There weren’t any kind of toys. The wall surfaces were dingy white, through a few stickersor tiny posters as the only decoration. A single, tiny TV hung in a farcorner.

The same goes for many French doctors’ offices. Although somemight look new and sleek, numerous others space shabby, v outdated periodicals onthe table and questionably clean floors. In cities, plenty of of these workplaces arehoused in previous apartments, including to the waiting of informality. Many doctors,especially GP’s, don’t have actually nurses or receptionists, so they may need to pauseduring your consultation to buzz someone into the building or prize a phonecall. You likewise won’t receive any type of friendly email or postal “reminders” aboutyour next appointment, or vacation greetings, and so on.

Many americans might additionally find French medical professionals a little bit curt andlacking in bedside manner. Physicians in countries roughly the people can strugglewith this, the basic French attitude of avoiding small talk and nicetiesdoesn’t help.

That doesn’t typical that every French medical professionals are cold and efficient,though – far from it. Many of the doctors and also specialists i have encountered herehave gone to least reasonably nice, and a few, including my médecin traitant,are really friendly. Then again, in ~ least component of what ns saying may come fromthe reality that I’m provided to French culture. If you’re planning to study or live in Franceand bedside path is necessary to you, execute an net search of a doctor’sname to view if girlfriend can find patient reviews.

The lack of sparkling cleanliness, stunning waiting rooms,and little talk has a many to do with the lower expense of French healthcare, yet Ialso think yes something an extremely French around this no-frills attitude.

Americans like myself love the bells and also whistles. We appreciate– even expect – a pretty, freshly painted doctor’s wait room through a polite,cheerful receptionist behind the desk. It’s type of like how we walk throughlife: friendly, smiling, open emotional. The French, ~ above the various other hand, tendto be an ext practical. They worth sincerity and a who actual skills aboveanything else. Sure, France is a country known for fashion, art, and also luxury,but once those points aren’t necessary and when the focus should it is in on moreimportant things, castle often fall by the wayside.

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When it concerns healthcare, the French opt come put all of their initiative into what’s important. This might or might not be easy for world from other cultures to deal with, yet it’s simply a truth of French life. And I deserve to say the while I perform still fall quickly under the charm of entirely clean and modern-looking American clinical facilities, that charm fades as soon as I gain the bill. So if you concerned France and get sick, don’t problem if your surroundings aren’t the most aesthetically or hygienically pleasing; you will do it still it is in getting proper medical care.

Have you ever before been chez le médecin in France or in an additional Francophone country? What was your suffer like? Feel free to re-superstructure in the comments!

Photo credits: photograph 1 via DepositPhoto; photo 2 through Hao show on Unsplash; photo 3 by national Cancer academy on Unsplash; photograph 4 through Arseny Togulev top top Unsplash