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Old 17.02.2008, 09:12
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English speaking hospital

Hi,

I'm a medial student from Australia interested in doing some study at a hospital in Switzerland for a month or so. I don't speak any German and was wondering if there were any hospitals that used English or had a lot of English-speaking doctors. I plan to do a basic German course to converse with patients, but don't feel that it would be enough to get by with the doctors.

Any help would be fantastic,
Jess
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Old 17.02.2008, 13:07
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Re: English speaking hospital

Hi jess_ica

My limited experience in two major hospitals ( Basel's Universtatspital and Zurich's ETH ) within a month of arriving from Brisbane shows that if one politely asks beforehand or even says in very elementary German an equivalent of " Please may I converse to you in English instead ? ", more than 90% of them will respond politely in decent English with a " A little bit ", which is quite deceiving and should not pose a problem for someone from Down Under.

Hope this helps in some way.
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Old 17.02.2008, 13:11
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Re: English speaking hospital

I imagine that you will have more problem with the Patients then the doctors. Most doctors speak reasonable English. The vast majority of medical journals etc are English language so most doctors have to have some knowledge of the language. The patients on the other hand usually expect their doctors to be able to speak the local language. If you don't speak German you will have a certain amount of trouble with patient interaction.
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Old 17.02.2008, 13:14
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Re: English speaking hospital

Have just asked Mrs P about this, as she is a nurse by profession. German is a pre-requisite to work in hospitals in the Swiss speaking part of Switzerland.

This is from personal experience, mostly due to inetraction with staff, patients, medicines etc.
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Old 17.02.2008, 22:38
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Re: English speaking hospital

You might check with the Swiss medical schools - Bern, Zuerich, Lausanne, etc, to see if there are any programs available for you -if you're a med student, it's likely you'd have to go through them anyway.
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