The year 2020 with the rise of COVID-19 is a proof of human beings’ fragility.  It is now of greater importance and urgency than ever for us to take better care of our health. For that reason, in this article of the series “Learning English through movies” today, eJOY will introduce to you the top 15 movies in the topic of Health and Healthcare.

For English learners of all levels and occupations, eJOY hopes that through these movies, you will learn a lot of interesting Medical English vocabulary as well as useful knowledge about healthcare and life. For learners specializing in the medical field, we hope that these 15 movies help you expand your vocabulary on medical terms and also improve your communication in the hospital context such as talking to patients, giving diagnosis, dealing with emergencies, etc.

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“A To Z” Tips For Learning English with Movies

Learning English through movies – Reasons to choose

What is it with the hype of learning English through movies? Here is the answer: this method of learning is the full package! 

Expand vocabulary

In every movie, each line of dialogues is full of new words and useful expressions. In addition, vocabulary in movies is organized systematically in accordance with their topics. Therefore, many find it easier to memorize vocabulary when learning through movies. Moreover, acquiring new words in this way is proven to be more effective as we learn them in specific expressions and contexts.  

Enhance listening – speaking skills

Watching movies will help you practice listening to English at a standard speed equivalent to native people’s speed of speaking. At the same time, this method of studying allows you to approach different tones and accents of English such as American English, British English, Australian English, etc. By listening to and practicing the way movie characters combine their words, sentences, and body language, you can learn how to speak English more fluently and naturally.  

Develop logical English thinking

Many of us learners usually develop a habit of thinking in our first language, then trying to translate that into English, which will make our ideas sound unnatural. So how to get rid of that? A method you should try is to familiarize yourself with the English way of thinking through the world of movies. When you dive into the flow of thoughts and conversations of movie characters, you will find yourself getting used to logical English thinking gradually and naturally. 

Revive interest in learning English 

It is best to learn new things with an open and passionate heart. Learning English through movies is very likely to spark more interest in you rather than traditional ways of learning. As you are immersed in the exciting world of movies, exploring new cultures and lifestyles, you will find English less intimidating and more endearing. Then learning English will simply be doing something you like. 

A step-by-step guide to learning English through movies effectively 

Below is a summary of the steps to learn English through movies effectively for Intermediate learners. To better understand this learning method, you should read our article “A To Z” Tips For Learning English with Movies”

Step 1 – Watch the whole movie in dual subtitles

For Intermediate learners, after choosing a suitable movie, you should first attempt to watch it with dual subtitles. This will make it easier for you to grasp the main contents of the movie as well as the meaning of new words. After watching and noting down new words, you can attempt to watch the movie again but this time with English subtitles to practice on your listening and speaking skills. 

Step 2 – Extract a small part of the movie to focus on 

After watching the whole movie with the help of subtitles, you should choose a few particular scenes (under three minutes) of it to practice further. There are some exercises that you can use such as: 

  • Watch the scene with English subtitles over and over again
  • Look up and save new words and expressions to your notebook 
  • Practice listening using dictation exercises 
  • Practice speaking using the shadowing method

Step 3 – Rewatch the movie and play games to revise vocabulary 

In this step, you should watch the whole movie with English subtitles one more time to check how many percent of new words have you memorized and how much of the movie you can understand. After that, don’t forget to play fun vocabulary games to brush up on the words you have learned from the movie on eJOY eXtension or eJOY app. 

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Top 15 must-see movies on Health & Healthcare

15 names on this list are the result of a process of careful selection from the eJOY team to provide you with the most interesting and diverse movie list on this topic. They can all be found on Netflix or Amazon Prime.

By downloading eJOY eXtension on Google Chrome, your learning experience on Netflix and Amazon will be more pleasant as you can use keyboard shortcuts to navigate easily, for example, repeat a line, access auto-pause feature, and more. You can find more details about how to use eJOY eXtension on Netflix here.

1. Grey’s Anatomy (2005)

Released in 2005, Grey’s Anatomy has ever since held the position of one of the most favorite TV series in the US. The series revolves around a group of doctors, nurses, and patients at a hospital in Seattle.

Throughout the episodes, the audience gradually explores the hard work, relationships, and  personal life of the people who work or are being treated there. Over 15 years of broadcasting, Grey’s Anatomy has become a part of the lives of audiences around the world.

The series has diverse dialogue, common vocabulary as well as specialized medical terms which are particularly useful for doctors, nurses, and medical practitioners. Moreover, the speech speed of the characters is medium. Therefore, this is a great series to watch for those who are practicing English at the Intermediate level.

2. The Good Doctor (2017)

The Good Doctor tells the story of Shawn Murphy – a young doctor with Savant syndrome who was admitted to the Cardiology department of a famous hospital in the US. The syndrome he acquired made it difficult for him to communicate and express his thoughts like a normal person, but gave him a natural talent in the medical field. With his difficulties and limitations, will Shawn’s talent shine through and be recognized?

3. The Resident (2018)

The series portrays the journey of a young male doctor during his internship at a reputable hospital. This journey gradually reveals the real situation of the American healthcare system, in terms of both good and bad things.

The speaking speed of the characters in The Resident is relatively fast, hence, you need to acquire a certain level of concentration to be able to keep up with the content as well as the language. Besides, when watching this series, do not forget to note down new vocabulary and expressions that you find interesting and useful!

4. Side Effect (2013)

Side Effect follows a young couple’s reunion when the husband finishes his sentence and is released from prison. However, the day he returned, he was shocked to know that his beloved wife had been struggling with severe depression during his absence. To make things even worse, all the drugs prescribed by his wife’s psychiatrist seem to have dangerous side effects on her mind. From there, the storm began to strike on the life of the young couple. 

5. Sicko (2007)

This documentary directed by Michael Moore created a ground-breaking sensation globally when it was first released in 2007. Sicko reflects the dark side of the health care system of the United States, telling stories of patients who cannot afford the cost of treatments in contrast to the wealthiness of the country’s pharmaceutical and insurance companies.

6. Contagion (2011)

A businesswoman named Beth Emhoff suddenly died of an unknown illness after a business trip in Hongkong. A few days later, the number of deaths with symptoms like those of Beth Emhoff is increasing drastically worldwide. To save humanity, the US Centers for Disease Control has begun working on a vaccine to prevent the pandemic. Many lives were at stake and the answer to the origin of the disease was only revealed at the last minute.

The movie has a moderate speaking speed and relatively clear, easy-to-hear pronunciation from the actors. Therefore, it will be very suitable for you to watch and practice both listening and speaking skills. In addition, Contagion uses a wide variety of phrasal verbs as well as idiomatic expressions such as cover something up, freak out, cry wolf, etc. Vocabularies from this movie are most likely to be useful for understanding papers, researches, and articles on pandemics, particularly COVID-19. 

7. Five Feet Apart (2019)

Five Feet Apart follows the beautiful but tragic love story of Will and Stella – two patients with cystic fibrosis receiving treatments at the same hospital. For people with this disease, they cannot get close to each other and a 6-step distance is the compulsory rule to avoid cross-contamination of bacteria. However, Will and Stella fall in love with each other soon as they meet. Although they could not touch each other, they still choose to love the other person, in the most sincere way.

8. The Last King Of Scotland (2006)

The film tells the story of a young Scottish doctor – Nicholas Garrigan, a medical graduate who wants to travel around the world to practice his medical skills. He eventually came to Uganda and accidentally met General Idi Amin – a powerful dictator. He then became the assistant of the General, attracted by his charisma. Over time, however, Nicolas became aware of Amin’s nature, malice, and cruelty. He finally fled the country of Uganda with so many memories.

9. Ask The Doctors (2017)

With topics ranging from allergies, sleep, to diet, three talented and friendly doctors will give you professional advice, dispel myths, and test the most modern treatments.

As a reality TV program with expert question-and-answer format, Ask The Doctor is an interesting and easy-to-watch series for people with English proficiency of High Beginner and above. The speed of the conversations is relatively slow, combined with the clear pronunciation, making the series very suitable for listening and speaking practices. For doctors and future doctors, it is valuable to watch this series as you can learn how to give medical advice for patients using expressions and structures used by the doctors on the show. 

10. The Fault In Our Stars (2014)

Adapted from the novel of the same name, The Fault In Our Stars talks about the love story of Hazel and Gus, two young people who are fighting cancer. With the theme of love in the illness, the film is loved by audiences throughout the world because of its lightness, humor, and humane optimistic message. Throughout the film, there are conversations between the main characters talking about their thoughts, moods, emotions as well as insightful philosophies about life. These conversations will help you strengthen your vocabulary, learn how to express your thoughts and feelings naturally and succinctly. 

11. Pandemic (2020)

Netflix’s original series – Pandemic will follow the footsteps of white-blouse heroes all over the world to explore the relentless efforts in the fight against the deadly pandemic of COVID-19 on a global scale.

12. New Amsterdam (2019)

New Amsterdam is an alluring TV series inspired by the story of Bellevue, the oldest public hospital in the US. It focuses on the talented and charming Dr. Max Goodwin, New Amsterdam hospital’s new director, who plans to demolish bureaucracy and make positive changes in the operation of the hospital to better support patients. What length are Dr. Max Goodwin willing to go to reform the hospital and improve healthcare services?

New Amsterdam is an American TV series, so if you are looking for a show with a moderate length and a standard American English accent, this is the perfect choice for you.

13. Patch Adams (1998)

Patch Adams is a special doctor, who looks, acts and thinks unlike any doctor you’ve met before. For Patch, humor is the best remedy for healing, and he is willing to do everything to make his patients laugh, even if it threatens his own career.

14. House MD (2005)

House MD is a medical-themed movie with a psychological element mixed with humor and thrilling factor. The story revolves around Dr. House’s strange diseases and the unique remedies of Dr. House – an exceptionally talented doctor who has only half a muscle in his right leg and is the head of the diagnostic department at Princeton Hospital. Plainsboro with colleagues.

15. Chicago Med (2015)

This movie is about the work and life of the doctors and nurses working in the emergency ward of Gaffney Hospital Chicago. At work, they always try their best every day and every hour to save patients’ lives and when taking off the white blouse, their personal life is just like every normal human being, full of issues and troubles. 

We hope that the 15 movies on the list above have strengthened your love and respect for doctors and medical practitioners, and at the same time, inspire you to learn English, especially Medical English. Do not forget to download eJOY eXtension to make learning English through movies easier and more fun than ever. Stay tuned to read upcoming articles in the eJOY series “Learning English through movies”! Have great fun learning English!

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