Arvind went to his family physician. He asked Arvind to "perform" a couple of tests.Is this usage correct?

Since the past few days Arvind has been feeling a little unwell and as a result had consulted his family physician. He was given a couple of medical tests to perform.

Will this imply that Arvind is the pathologist himself and would conduct the tests or would this mean that Arvind will seek help from one of the medical centers which would conduct the medical tests for him? How do I convey the latter meaning in this context?

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    The doctor "ordered" some tests for Arvind.
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Nov 12, 2016 at 3:53
  • 1
    He asked Arvind to undergo some tests, or he ordered tests for him, or he asked Arvind to have some tests done, or... or... or. But "perform" isn't one of the options except for a very minute number of specific tests. Undergo is probably he most official sounding. Have tests done the least formal. Commented Nov 12, 2016 at 4:08
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    You can also say "He was prescribed a couple of tests by his doctor". Commented Nov 12, 2016 at 4:54
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    @AhmedMasud Generally, medicines are prescribed (orders written ahead of time); tests are ordered.
    – deadrat
    Commented Nov 12, 2016 at 4:59
  • Generally, a pathologist does an examination of tissue to determine the presence of absence of disease, e.g., the presence of abnormal cells. A medical test usually involves finding some numeric measure of bodily function, e.g, the percentage of oxygen saturation of the blood.
    – deadrat
    Commented Nov 12, 2016 at 5:05

3 Answers 3


One would only say that the patient was asked to perform the test, if the test was one that the patient could self-administer. For example, there are now (and have been for a good number of years) blood-sugar tests where the patient punctures his or her skin, applies a drop of blood to a special test strip, inserts this into a meter, and reads off a blood-sugar value. The patient would be said to perform such a test. There are similar self-administered tests for blood pressure, lipid levels, and pregnancy, among others Saying that the doctor asked the patient to "perform" a test suggests that it is one of these. If it is not, then it would be more likely for the doctor to tell the patient to have the test performed, or just to "have it done", probably by a testing lab or other suitable specialist (not usually a pathologist).


Tests are always performed by the therapist, on or upon the patient, unless for instance the doctor asks the patient to take his own blood pressure or swab her own cheek, or some such…


It would be wrong to say Arvind was asked to perform the tests.

Instead, use:

He was prescribed a couple of medical tests

He was recommended a couple of medical tests

He was asked to undergo a couple of medical tests

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