Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I think you can say the following:

I'm at the hospital, doing medical exams.

I'm at the hospital, undergoing medical exams.

I'm at the hospital, having medical exams.

I'm at the hospital, taking medical exams.

I'm not very sure if some of them may be confused with taking a written medical exam (you can't discard the possibility that someone could be at the hospital writing a exam).

Which of them is less ambiguous? Is there a better choice?

share|improve this question
    
I prefer your second option using undergoing. You could rewrite a little to rid the statement of all ambiguity and say something like, "I'm at the hospital, where my doctor is conducting medical tests on me." –  JLG Jun 18 '13 at 17:09
2  
Do you mean you’re getting/having some tests done? –  tchrist Jun 18 '13 at 17:14
1  
Oddly, while medical test and medical examination could mean either 'checkup by a doctor' or 'what converts a medical student into a doctor', medical exam would usually mean the latter. (Actually, medical tests usually means the former, but I think that is because students usually take formal examinations rather than brief tests- for which patients are properly grateful.) –  TimLymington Jun 18 '13 at 17:43
1  
The most natural? On your cellphone, your mom calls, "Honey, where are you, you were supposed to pick me up an hour ago." "Sorry I didn't call, mom, I'm at the hospital having some tests done... what , no nothing's wrong at all, just ruling out some things. Sure, pot roast would be great. No, I'm not seeing her anymore, I told you she moved to Peru and we thought...no, I'm not going to give you her number... Yes... Yes... Yes... Yes... Yes... OK See you later." Your sentences are all too formal for natural speech; they might work for reporting formally. –  Mitch Jun 18 '13 at 18:37
2  
I usually say I'm having medical adventures. –  John Lawler Jun 18 '13 at 18:44
show 6 more comments

4 Answers 4

up vote 3 down vote accepted

In the US, a very common way to express this concept is

I'm at the hospital for tests.

No one would think you either are taking a non-medical exam or administering one.

share|improve this answer
add comment

You could say

"I'm at the hospital having a check-up."

You can also replace "check-up" with medical or physical where it is implicit that you are referring to a an examination of your health and not a test of your medical knowledge.

share|improve this answer
add comment

All of OP's alternatives are inappropriate for his intended meaning. Although exam is obviously short for examination, the short form is almost exclusively reserved for the academic test context.

But doing and taking are also far more associated with the "academic" context. The only credible alternatives are...

1: I'm at the hospital, undergoing medical examinations.
2: ?I'm at the hospital, having medical examinations.

But I personally don't much like #2. I'd probably say having medical tests there. Of course, there are many other more substantial rephrasings, such as..

3: I'm at the hospital, being medically examined.

share|improve this answer
    
To me, simply undergoing examination would not imply an academic exam. –  TrevorD Jun 18 '13 at 23:39
    
@TrevorD: I don't understand why you've said that. I certainly haven't suggested it would - and in fact I've very strongly implied that it wouldn't. My #1 rephrasing simply substitutes examination because OP's abbreviation exam always means an academic test. It's the closest alternative with OP's intended meaning (his medical condition is being diagnosed). He could say he's having a test, checkup, physical, etc., but he's asking about exams. I'm just saying whatever else he does, most importantly he has to use examinations, not exams, for that sense. –  FumbleFingers Jun 19 '13 at 2:14
    
FF It wasn't a criticism at all. It was merely intended as another suggestion. Sorry if it came over differently. –  TrevorD Jun 19 '13 at 9:23
    
@TrevorD: oic. Perhaps I didn't express myself well. That's what I intended the second sentence in my answer to convey. –  FumbleFingers Jun 19 '13 at 12:19
    
FF On reflection, I think maybe I didn't express myself well. I understood the second sentence of your answer to mean that. I was then suggesting (not very clearly!) that one could consequently go one step further and omit the word "medical" from the example sentences entirely. I was trying to add another variation to your 3 examples by suggesting that simply saying, "I'm at the hospital, undergoing examination." would be sufficient. –  TrevorD Jun 19 '13 at 12:35
show 1 more comment

In North America, there's also the work-up, meaning a diagnostic investigation.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.