I have just returned from China's 2004 International Symposium on Teaching English for Medical Purposes. They are very, very committed to developing EMP in their Medical Schools, but the focus is on reading and writing at the highest academic level. Their own research showed the medical students were not content with this: no practical usage or value. As a result, the ESL instructors collectively (most of whom seem to be linguists) are considering how they might change their curriculum. Each university Medical School has its own curriculum developed in-house. There is a huge push for publishing in English-speaking medical journals.

I met one of my own clients there, an Australian Nurse teaching at a University Nursing School in Nantong. She had alot of interesting stories to tell! Nursing English does not have a priority in China unless the nurse wishes to emigrate out of the country. English for doctors is different. The med. students and doctors wish to become more visible and credible on the international medical scene. This means language skills to work temporarily in an English speaking country as well as to publish. This is the goal of their curriculum and EMP is mandatory at Med. School.

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hi, dear Melodie
im Frank from china. im now teaching medical nursing at a small nurse school and much intrested in english learning. i have read some news about the meeting which hold in Xi'an as you mentioned. And i know that you made a valuable speech of "chang the methold of medical english teaching". Cause i haven't taken part in it and can't get more detailed info about it,so would you kindly send me ur lecture note?
many thanks(xiexie)!
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I'm a chinese student majored in medical english,but it seems that it's quite difficult for us to learn.We learn how to communicate but our practice is quite limited.And what I want to say is that we just learn traditional chinese medicine in english but not westen medicine,that's even more difficult.So I usually pay more attention on westen medicine.As to this,we only have a few medical words on our books ,so what should I do to improve myself?and could you point me a good way to learn medical english?
Many thanks!

Hello to both of you in China!

I would be happy to send a copy of the paper I presented at the Conference in Xi'an, China this year. You must send me your e-mail. You can contact me directly through my websites

Ida, you might find workbooks or on-line course very, very helpful for you as a supplement to your studies. Secondly, you might like to find a medical student or student nurse in an English-speaking country that you could write to on e-mail. That would help you with vocabulary, concepts, medical culture, etc. Contact me at my website. I can probably help you with this, too. (free, no charge)
Hi Ida, I think that if you want to learn more about western medicine terminology, the best tool is the internnet; people often say that the world wide web is like a virtual library. You can find basically anything and everything on the web. I am sure that if you type medical English on a Yahoo search engine, you will find many good sites dedicated to this subject. Hope it will help you in your endeavor.
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