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Learn Medical Spanish – Taking Family Medical History in Spanish

Learn Medical Spanish – Taking Family Medical History in Spanish

Family Medical histories in Spanish are an important aspect of gaining a patient’s complete medical history. In this free Medical Spanish lesson you will learn:

  • Vocabulary for family members in Spanish
  • Additional vocabulary for hereditary illnesses in Spanish
  • Common questions regarding family history in Spanish

Here is the Medical Spanish lesson on How to Take a Family Medical History in Spanish I taught to the Facebook group:

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Download Taking Family History in Spanish Notes TODAY

Phrases and Initial Conversation / Frases y Conversación inicial

First to all, you never want to jump straight to the point with your patients, instead, you want to have an extra minute just for some brief chitchat with them.

If you don’t know what you would like to talk about, here are a handful of questions you can use to open any conversation with your patient:

SpanishEnglish
¿Cómo está?How are you?
¿Y cómo está la familia? ¿Sus hijos?And how is your family? How are your kids?
¿Cómo le va en el trabajo recientemente? How is work going for you recently?
¿Qué le trae a la clínica hoy?What brings you to the clinic today?
¿Qué le pasa?What’s the matter?
¿Cómo le puedo ayudar hoy?How can I help you today?

Family Vocabulary / Vocabulario de Familia

There are a couple of categories of “familia” and it is important to remember this because hereditary illnesses only follow bloodlines but families are composed of several members you need to name properly:

Nuclear family / Familia Nuclear:

  • Madre (mamá) / Mother (mom)
  • Padre (papá) / Father (Dad)
  • Hijo(a) / Son – Daughter
  • Hermano(a) / Brother – Sister

Relatives / Parientes:

  • Abuelo(a) / Grandfather – Grandmother
  • Nieto(a) / Grandson – Granddaughter
  • Tío(a) / Uncle – Aunt
  • Primo(a) / Cousin
  • Sobrino(a) / Nephew – Niece
  • Tío(a) abuelo(a) / Great Uncle – Great Aunt
  • Bisabuelo(a) / Great-grandfather – Great-grandmother
  • Bisnieto(a) / Great grandson – Great granddaugther

Combined Families / Familias Combinadas:

In English we use the prefix “step”, but in Spanish you need to use the suffix “astra” or “astro” for the following family members:

  • Madrastra / Stepmother
  • Padrastro / Stepfather
  • Hijastro(a) / Stepchild
  • Hermanastro(a) / Stepbrother -Stepsister

Hereditary Diseases / Enfermedades Hereditarias

There is a lot of hereditary diseases but here are the most most common ones:

Heart Diseases / Enfermedades de corazón:

SpanishEnglish
ArritmiaArrhythmia
Ataque de corazón Heart attack
Colesterol altoHigh cholesterol
MiopatíaMyopathy
Presión alta / HipertensiónHigh pressure / Hypertension
Insuficiencia cardíacaHeart failure

Note: Any kind of organ failure in English, is “insuficiencia” in Spanish.

Blood diseases / Enfermedades de sangre:

SpanishEnglish
AnemiaAnemia
Anemia falciforme Sickle cell anemia
HemofiliaHemophilia

Mental illnesses / Enfermedades mentales:

SpanishEnglish
AdiccionesAddictions
AnsiedadAnxiety
DepresiónDepression
Trastorno de ánimo Mood disorder

Note: “Trastorno” is the proper word to use in Spanish when you want to talk about a disorder, particularly in the mental health realm.

Other illnesses / Otras enfermedades

Here are extra vocabulary for other types of hereditary diseases in Spanish 🙂

SpanishEnglish
AlergiasAllergies
Artritis Arthritis
AsmaAsthma
CáncerCancer
DiabetesDiabetes
Fibrosis quísticaCystic fibrosis
ObesidadObesity
Síndrome de DownDown’s Syndrome

If you need a specific vocabulary for any other type of illnesses, please visit this post.

Questions About Medicines / Unas preguntas sobre medicamentos

Sometimes it’s easier to discover hereditary illnesses through talking about any medications that family members are taking. If you think this approach would be useful to you, use any of these questions:

SpanishEnglish
¿Alguien en su familia toma medicamentos? Does anyone in your family take medications?
¿Toma usted algún medicamento recetado?Do you take any prescribed medication?
¿Toma medicinas no recetadas (de venta libre)?Do you take non-prescription (over-the-counter) medicines?
¿Usa algún tipo de crema?Do you use some type of creams?
¿Usa gotas para los ojos?Do you use drops for your eyes?
¿Cuáles productos nutritivos (suplementos) usa?What types of nutritional products (supplements) do you use?
¿Cuáles productos naturales, hierbas, o productos dietéticos está tomando?What natural products, herbs, or diet products are you taking?
¿Cuánto toma?
¿Con qué frecuencia los toma?
How much are you taking?
How often are you taking them?

Family History / Historia Familiar

After these general questions, the next step is getting more specific information about the family history in Spanish:

Does anyone in your family have (or has anyone had….?):
¿Alguien en su familia padece de …? o ¿Alguien en su familia ha padecido de…?

The verb “padecer” (to have an illness chronically) can be changed for “sufrir” (to suffer) so you can say

  • “¿Alguien en su familia sufre de o ha sufrido de?”

Another option, the most simple one: using the verb “tener” (to have):

  • “¿Alguien en su familia tiene o ha tenido…?”.
  • Alcoholismo / Alcoholism
  • Abuso de drogas / Drugs abuse
  • Cáncer / Cancer
  • Colesterol alto / High cholesterol
  • Derrame cerebral / Stroke
  • Enfermedades cardíacas / Heart diseases
  • Enfermedad psiquiátrica / Psychiatric diseases
  • Presión arterial / Blood pressure

Please notice the option with “tener” doesn’t require adding “de” after the verb.

Other Useful Questions / Otras Preguntas Útiles

These questions could be used as follow-up questions or even initial questions, depending on the way you manage the conversation with your patient.

SpanishEnglish
¿Qué enfermedades hay en su familia?What illnesses are there in your family?
¿Hay historia de _ en su familia?Is there a history of _ in your family?
¿Está vivo su ____? Is your __ alive?
¿Cuántos años tenía cuando se murió?How old was he / she when they died?
¿De qué se murió?What did he / she die of?
¿Qué enfermedades tenía?What illnesses did he / she have?
¿Alguien en su familia ha tenido __?Has anyone in your family had __?

Now it’s your turn! I packaged all of this vocabulary in Spanish into some flashcards for you to study.

I packaged all of this into easily downloadable .pdf notes – Get your copy for free today!

Download Taking Family History in Spanish Notes TODAY

Keep up the good work speaking responsible Spanish to your patients!

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¡Gracias POR aprender español conmigo!

Rory
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Rory is passionate about the Spanish language, an expert instructor, and specifically energized by the practical use of language in industry & community settings.
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