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Store names & possessive

Is the following sentence a correct usage to tell someone that I'm in the clinic to see the doctor right now

I'm at the doctor's

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Related: Ear doctor's vs ear doctor –  KitFox Nov 6 '12 at 13:21
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marked as duplicate by tchrist, MετάEd, JSBձոգչ, Cameron, Zairja Nov 6 '12 at 17:37

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3 Answers

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Perfectly normal spoken English, informal written English, and written dialog. It will be understood by all native speakers of AmE (like me) and probably by all native speakers of BrE.

For something a little more complete: I'm at the doctor's office or I'm at the dermatology clinic.

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In British English, this was the standard way to refer to a visit to one's GP (general practitioner). The room he actually examined / treated you in was called his surgery (though surgery rarely took place there!). This was the only alternative available to many in the UK until the Government began to restructure the NHS a few years ago. Nowadays, the number of different venues for non-emergency treatments has burgeoned bewilderingly. As Bill replies, if the substance of the message is merely that you're seeing a medical professional, "I'm at the doctor's" is succinct and clear. Compare: "I'm at the chemist's." If you need to convey the exact location, or the type of medical treatment or centre, more will be needed.

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If it is spoken, then it is acceptable. In written English, however, it would be more advisable if you make it complete, like what Bill said. But even though using the sentence "I'm at the doctor's" in written dialog seems rather incomplete, it is still understandable.

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