Medical reports can be quite long and may contain complicated vocabulary that is difficult or impossible for patients to understand.

In Germany, there’s a website called Was hab’ ich? (“What do I have?”) to which a patient may submit their medical report. Students of medicine (8th term upwards) and MDs who participate in the project translate said report into everyday language. They explain the concepts behind symptoms and prescriptions in a way that is easy to understand.

This is a lot of work: I have seen people work twenty hours on a single, complicated letter, and a medical report of two pages may very well translate into a document of twenty pages. This work is done in their spare time and is not paid.

This service is offered to patients free of charge because it should be absolutely independent of a patient’s income. The platform is funded through donations.

Is there an English service where patients can get their medical reports explained / translated into everyday language? If so, is it gratuitous?

  • Is medical report the right term for this kind of letter, or should it be physician’s letter, or discharge letter, or referral letter? I’d like to use the correct term in the question.
    – Philipp
    Commented Sep 14, 2017 at 9:44
  • 3
    I love the idea of the service! It doesn't exist at a scale that I'm aware of but it might at local institutions. I think medical report works, it encompasses lab results, radiology reports, discharge summaries,etc.
    – DoctorWhom
    Commented Sep 14, 2017 at 10:27


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