History of Present Illness in Spanish

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This is one of the 30 audio lessons available through the Basic Medical Subscription at docmolly.com. These lessons are at the beginner to immediate level and cover all the essential vocabulary and phrases used to perform a comprehensive Medical History and Exam in Spanish. In this lesson, we practice asking about location, quality, severity, and timing of pain, as well as alleviating and aggravating factors.

Table of Contents

  • 0:35 Location
  • 1:33 Quality & Severity
  • 3:14 Timing 
  • 5:41 Aggravating & Alleviating Factors 



¿Dónde tiene el dolor?
Where is your pain?

¿Se extiende hacia algún lado?
Does it radiate anywhere?

Señale donde le duele.
Point to where it hurts.

Señale donde empezó el dolor.
Point to where the pain began.

Señale donde tiene el dolor ahora.
Point to where the pain is now.



¿Cómo es el dolor?
What is the pain like?

¿Es constante o le va y le viene?
Is it constant or does it come and go?

¿Es fuerte?
Is it severe?

… leve?
… mild?

… agudo?
… sharp? acute? (Meaning may vary depending on the context.) 

… punzante?
… shooting? stabbing? sharp? (Meaning may vary depending on the context.) 

… difuso?
… diffuse?

… desgarrador?
… tearing?

¿Le arde?
Does it burn?

¿Le pica?
Does it sting?

¿Le presiona?
Does it feel like a pressure?

Cero siendo sin dolor, y diez el dolor más fuerte… ¿Como describe su dolor?
Zero being no pain and ten the worst pain… How do you describe your pain?



¿Tiene dolor ahora?
Do you have pain now?

¿Ya no tiene dolor?
Is your pain gone now?

¿Cuándo empezó el dolor?
When did you pain begin?

¿Hace unos días?
Days ago?

¿Hace unas horas?
Hours ago?

¿Hace unos minutos?
Minutes ago?

¿Hace unos segundos?
Seconds ago?

¿Cuánto tiempo le dura el dolor?
How long does the pain last?



¿Lo siente todo el tiempo?
Do you feel it all the time?

¿Cada cuánto le da el dolor?
How often do you get the pain?

¿Cada unos minutos?
Every few minutes?

¿Cada unas horas?
Every few hours?

¿Cada unos días?
Every few days?

¿Ha tenido este dolor antes?
Have you had this pain before?

¿Cuándo fue la última vez que tuvo este dolor?
When was the last time you had this pain?



¿Qué estaba haciendo cuando empezó el dolor?
What were you doing when the pain began?






¿Haciendo un esfuerzo?
Exerting yourself?


¿Empeora el dolor al trabajar?
Does the pain get worse when you work?

¿Empeora el dolor al caminar?
Does the pain get worse when you walk?

…al recostarse?
…when you lay back?

…al toser?
…when you cough?

….al tomar una respiración profunda?
… when you take a deep breathe?

…al subir las escaleras?
… when you climb the stairs?

… al hacer ejercicio?
… when you exercise?

¿Se alivia el dolor al descansar?
Is the pain relieved when you rest?

Se alivia al inclinarse hacia adelante?
Is the pain relieved when you lean forward?

… al comer?
… when you eat?

… al tomar antiácidos?
…when you take antacids.

… al tomar un medicamento?
…when you take a medication?

¿Qué medicamento toma para el dolor?
What medication do you take for the pain?

Escriba el nombre del medicamento aquí por favor.
Please write the name of the medication here.

Leave a Comment

I would love to hear from you. If you have a question or feedback about this audio lesson, please leave a comment under this post. I usually respond within 24 hours. ¡Gracias!

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    • Hi Steven,

      The pause after each English word or phrase gives you the opportunity to interpret what was just said in Spanish. This is a more basic lesson and very straightforward. In the other premium lessons, which are based on interviews and clinical encounters, we break down the vocabulary and grammar, as well as interpret the key phrases between English and Spanish.

      To get a better idea of what a typical premium lesson is like, check out the other premium lessons in your member home (https://docmolly/member-home). The latest premium series is available for the first 7 days of your free membership. If you are past the first 7 days of your membership when you read this, email me at molly@docmolly.com and I’ll give you access to another premium series of your choice.* Additionally, every time I publish a new premium lesson (next one coming out before the new year), It will appear in your member home for 7 days. You’ll receive an email when a new premium lesson is added.

      Finally, I started a Quizlet class for the latest series covering STDs in Spanish, which provides a variety of ways (flash cards, fill in the blank, spelling, etc) to test yourself on the material covered in the audio lessons.

      Let me know if you have any further questions.



      *excludes the following series: Medical History & Exam, Subjunctive

  • Fantastic exercise for my introduction to formal interpreting! I just came across your resource and am sure content to have found it! Please keep up the good work.

  • Hi, I was just wondering (before I purchase the premium lessons) whether the podcast also works on android phones? I tried to access this with my android phone but when I reached this page, I was not able to find “Learn on the go” page as indicated in the video that you posted on how to access podcast on an iPhone as a basic member.

  • Excellent content. Please I would love more pediatric lessons. I work as an interpreter for a pediatric clinic. I listen the lessons every day 😉 thanks for this podcast it’s really useful.

    • Thank you Adriana! I am so glad you like the audio lessons. We will be publishing a series on ADHD soon.

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