How to pronounce Médecin in French?

Updated: June 15, 2021 by Mylene in How to Pronounce  ▪  

how to pronounce médecin in french

Médecin in French

The word médecin in French means doctor in English. In spoken French,  médecin is always masculine.


  • Je suis malade, je vais chez le médecin: I’m sick, I’m going to the doctor.
  • J’ai pris rendez-vous chez le médecin: I took an appointment with the doctor.
  • Je suis suivi par un médecin: I’m under a doctor’s care.

An important note: Don’t use an article to talk about what someone does. In this specific case, there is no article before the word médecin:

  • Mon frère est médecin: My brother is a doctor. 

How to pronounce “Médecin”?

In French, the word Médecin is pronounced /metsɛ̃/. In details:

  • /m/ sound: Close the lips and push air through the nose. No air should leave your mouth. Vibrate your vocal cords. 
  • /e/ sound: The tongue is forward in the mouth, the tip of the tongue is against the lower teeth and the lips aren’t rounded.
  • /t/ sound: Place the tip of your tongue on the ridge behind your upper teeth. As you push air out of your mouth, briefly stop it behind your tongue before releasing it. Do not vibrate your vocal cords as you make this sound.
  • /s/ sound: Place the tip of your tongue lightly against the ridge behind your upper teeth but do not touch the teeth. As you push air out of your mouth, squeeze the air between the tip of your tongue and the top of your mouth. Do not vibrate your vocal cords as you make this sound.
  • /ɛ̃/ sound: The mouth is slightly open and stretched horizontally, the tip of the tongue touches the front lower teeth.

In addition, the letter -e is not pronounced. As for the sound /s/ affects the pronunciation of the letter -d.

This Instagram video from @masteryourfrench will show you how to pronounce the French word médecin as well as the difference between médecin and médical. Click the link to listen to this video or directly play the video shown below.

If you’d like to better understand the pronunciation of the word médecin in French watch the following video L’assimilation entre 2 consonnes l Prononciation française.

You’ll discover when consonants with different sounds impact the pronunciation. We call this in French “le phénomène d’assimilation”.

The French language contains a large number of words that are difficult to pronounce. To learn the right pronunciation of French words check our articles on the pronunciation of French words.

Vocabulary around doctors and healthcare in France

Médecin is a useful word when learning French. In what follows, I’ll give you more vocabulary around doctors and healthcare in France. Boost your French language and learn words related to médecin in French.

Synonyms of médecin in French

Le docteur refers to a medical doctor. It can be as well someone who has attained a doctorate.

Docteur en médecine means doctor of medicine.
Je vais chez le médecin is exactly the same as je vais chez le docteur.

You don’t use médecin when referring to a doctor by name or when addressing a doctor directly. Indeed a doctor’s title is Docteur, abbreviated Dr.
Tu connais docteur Vincent?: Do you know Dr. Vincent

However you need to say bonjour docteur and not bonjour médecin.

In France, docteur is only used to refer to a medical practitioner. We don’t address anyone with a Ph.D. as docteur.

Let’s talk about the different types of “médecin”

In France, after the age of 16, you need to have a médecin traitant: a general practitioner.

This is your médecin généraliste (general practitioner). We usually call him un généraliste.

As a child you can go and see le médecin de famille (family doctor) or le pédiatre (pediatrician).

Your regular doctor doesn’t work every Sunday. If you need a doctor on Sunday you can go and see le médecin de garde (duty doctor).

Let’s meet some specialists

Médecin du travail: occupational health doctor.

Médecin scolaire: school doctor.

Médecin remplaçant: replacement doctor.

Médecin urgentiste: emergency physician.

Un dentiste means a dentist.

Un chirurgien: a surgeon.

Un dermatologue: a dermatologist.

Un ophtalmologiste: an ophthalmologist.

Une infirmière: a nurse.

Medical vocabulary when talking to a medecin in France

You need to know the following essential vocabulary for talking to doctors and getting the help you need.

  • Un rendez-vous: an appointment. Vous devez appeler aujourd’hui pour prendre un rendez-vous chez le médecin.
  • Le cabinet médical: doctor’s office. Vous devez ensuite vous rendre au cabinet médical.
  • La salle d’attente: the waiting room. Puis vous allez devoir attendre dans la salle d’attente.

In France, everyone has a carte vitale (insurance card). This is a physical card with a chip in it that you use to identify yourself for healthcare. It has your photo on it as well.

Everyone aged more than 16 years is required to have one. Children under 16 years are included on the card of their parents.

When you receive medical treatment, the card is presented to your French doctor who places it into a card reader enabling you to later obtain direct reimbursement from the insurance fund, rather than having to submit a feuille de soins.

A lot of people choose to have une mutuelle (insurance company) to cover the rest of the cost.

In terms of payment, the individual pays for treatment, and the relevant State fund is automatically alerted via the carte vitale system. The percentage refunded by the State is then indicated to the relevant mutuelle which calculates accordingly how much it will reimburse.

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