In Spanish (or at least in Argentina), when we are receiving medical attention we say the doctor is "treating" us (tratando) . "Estoy recibiendo tratamiento" (I'm receiving medical attention). This doesn't sound very natural in English (saying a doctor is treating me for receiving medical attention). How do you express the same idea in the most natural way in English?

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    To treat in such contexts actually means give medical care, so you can use any of, for example, The doctor treated me, I was treated by the doctor, The doctor gave me medical care, or I was given medical care by the doctor. But there's no obvious easy way to include both treat and give/receive [medical] care in the same sentence. Why would you want to do this anyway? It can't really convey any additional information. Jul 10, 2017 at 14:22
  • I thought it didnt sound natural to say "I was treated by the doctor". But if you say so, I'll believe you.
    – Pablo
    Jul 10, 2017 at 14:23
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    You don't need to believe me. Just google strings in quotes such as "received medical attention" and "was treated by the doctor". They're common enough. Jul 10, 2017 at 14:27
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    @Fumble - I wouldn't be surprised to see "received medical attention" in a news article, so I'd expect to see a lot of hits on Google. However, I think it sounds a bit formal for casual conversation. I don't think I've ever heard a co-worker tell me, "Sorry I was late, I was receiving medical attention." I think you may have missed the essence of Pablo's question.
    – J.R.
    Jul 10, 2017 at 22:25
  • +1 @FumbleFingers "I'm being treated by Dr. Feelgood" is quite natural. We use see often in this context, too. Q: "What doctor are you seeing for that hangnail?" Jul 11, 2017 at 2:22

3 Answers 3


To receive medical attention and to receive treatment are perfectly valid phrases, though they sound a little formal and are the type of phrase you'd see in news reports or on hospital forms.

More informally, we often use be treated for [something] or even say where this treatment is happening, such as be in hospital for [procedure/illness] or go to the doctor's for [illness].

Another informal alternative is that you say what actually happened when you sought treatment, such as the doctor gave me some medicine for [illness].


In addition to Dan's excellent answer, a common expression is "to go to the [doctor / clinic / hospital / emergency room] ..." Examples:

I went to the doctor yesterday to have him look at this bump on my neck.

I took my mother to the emergency room because she was having trouble breathing.

My wife went to the clinic to get a flu shot.


If you are referring to treatment that consists of multiple treatments over time it is common to say "I am under the care of Dr. Goodman." or "I am Dr. Goodman's patient."

A patient is: "A person under a physician's care for a particular disease or condition." http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=39154

  • It used to be common (in Britain, at least) to shorten the first form to simply "I am under the doctor." This now sounds very old-fashioned, and is to be avoided by learners. Jul 11, 2017 at 8:07

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