Both 患者 and 病人 can mean patient. When would you prefer one over the other?

  • 1
    jukuu's samples seem to suggest that particular ailments/diseases can be used attributively with both 患者 : 休克患者,精神病患者,霍乱患者,肺脓肿患者,慢性病患者,癌症患者 病人 :肥胖病人,糖尿病人,心血管病人,晚期病人, but 病人 seems to be used more often w/o mentioning any particular disease, and has greater usage frequency,
    – user6065
    Jun 24 '17 at 12:32
  • Somewhat like the difference between "job" and "career".
    – iBug
    Jul 1 '17 at 9:17

患 = contracted (of disease); 者= the one who

患者 = the one who contracted (disease) = patient

  • The term 患者 describes 'a patient of a specific disease'. For example: '癌症患者' (cancer patient), '皮膚病患者'(skin disease patient).

  • We cannot use '患者' without referencing the disease

病人 = sick person/ patient

  • The term 病人 is a general term for 'sick people/ patient'. You can use this term to designate a unwell person without mentioning the disease. For example "病人需要更多的休息" (sick people/ patients need more rest). *-doesn't matter what kind of sickness

  • It can be used interchangeably with 患者 when referring a patient of a particular disease. For example 癌症病人 (cancer patient), 皮膚病病人(skin disease patient)

  • re:"We cannot use '患者' without referencing the disease", in the sense that 患者 implies some disease which however need not be mentioned, maybe it is a matter of degree, mentioning disease more likely with 患者 ): cf. jukuu for 患者,
    – user6065
    Jun 24 '17 at 17:17
  • 1
    The name of a particular disease usually accompany the term 患者. However, You don't need to mention the sickness in the same sentence, if it was mentioned previously in the same conversation.
    – Tang Ho
    Jun 25 '17 at 1:14

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