Is There a Real Use for the Medicine Skill?

The Player’s Handbook (PHB), page 178, defines Medicine skill as: 

A Wisdom (Medicine) check lets you try to stabilize a dying companion or diagnose an illness. 

Definitionally, the medicine skill allows any player to stabilize a dying companion or diagnose the companion’s disease in the D&D 5e game. You can even stabilize the dying opponent using the Medicine skill if you want to. With a successful Wisdom (Medicine) skill check, you can stabilize a dying character having 0 hit points (HP). The medicine skill works by rolling a successful skill roll, whereas the healer kit works without any skill roll and is less expensive. 

The medicine skill has more uses besides stabilizing a dying character and detecting your companion’s illness. This article will discuss the actual or all uses of medicine skill in detail. 

What Is the Use of Medicine Skill in D&D 5E?

Medicine skill are the abstraction of knowledge, expertise, and ability in the medical field used to cure the illness of injured characters or save a dying character. Apart from the mechanical benefit (stabilizing any companions or enemies when a healing kit is not available), it also has other beneficial uses in the game. These are the things that could require a medicine skill:

  • Diagnosing a wound in certain situations (like moving a character that fell off a building without harming it further).
  • Medicine skill could recognize the beneficial and non-poisonous herbs for medical purposes or potion creation to heal the wounds of the injured or to save anyone from dying (although an herbalism kit is effective and beneficial, medicine skill work more effectively and beneficially). 
  • It could diagnose the disease of the affected character even after the poison has fully affected the character’s body to cure it and save its life. 
  • Use medicine to diagnose and treat poison by expending one use of a healer’s kits and making a Wisdom (Medicine) check against the save DC of the poison or disease. 
  • A medicine skill rolling a forensics roll of a fresh crime scene might return a list of information whose length and details depend on the roll result. Roll the low side to get one of several possible pieces of desired information. 
  • Rules for lingering injuries in the DMG cite a Wisdom (Medicine) check as a way to heal a festering wound. 
  • In Rrakkma, medicine skill can identify brown flecks as blood.
  • In Princes of the Apocalypse, medicine skill can identify bone flutes as humanoid.
  • It can remove a control gem from slaad. 
  • Identifying a drug or detecting if someone is drugged or not
  • You may use medicine skill to create medicines for reasons, trade to earn additional money, or help hospitals.  

Aside from the functions listed above, there are also more uses for a medicine kit listed in Adventurer league and other modules. There are a few more applications and already discussed applications of medicine skills with a spectrum of difficulties. 

DC 5 means the Difficulty Class 5, and it means the number you want before rolling a d20 and appropriate modifiers. DC is the Difficulty Class shows how tough or easy it is for any player to complete a specific task or something in the game. It could be anything, such as climbing a rope, swinging an ax, stabilizing dying characters, or all other activities requiring different DCs in the game. 5 is the most effortless task, and 30 is a nearly impossible job.

DC 5 Medicine skill

  • It stabilizes or revives a drowning creature.
  • It determines the somewhat apparent cause of death (decapitated and so on).

DC 10 Medicine skill

  • Determines if it is safe to move the injured patient or not.
  • It stabilizes the dying creature.
  • It delivers a baby during a complicated delivery.
  • It can diagnose dehydration, starvation, or madness in a patient.
  • It could run several checks to determine the time and manner of a death that left marks on the body. 

DC 15 Medicine skill

  • It checks to determine the time and manner of death when there are no marks on the dead body.
  • Used to save the mother in a complicated delivery.
  • It can be used for blood spatter analysis.
  • It removes an impaling object from a creature.
  • Used to identify a poisonous container. 

 DC 10 + CR ability check

  • It could determine the number of hit points remaining on another humanoid.
  • It could determine the Constitution, Dexterity, or Strength saving throw modifiers of another humanoid.
  • Optionally using higher DC for non-humanoids.

In the end, the use of medicine skill can extend beyond the rules of the book, and it also depends on the imagination and creativity of you and your DM. As a creative player, you can use medicine skill for other related things, like identifying a mysterious drink before someone drinks it to check if it is poisonous or non-poisonous. 

How Does a Character Proficient in the Medicine Skill Help Other Characters Recover From Diseases, Injuries, or Similar Effects?

Your Dungeon Master makes a house rule related to helping a character recover from diseases, injuries, or similar effects using medicine skill. 

A character proficient in medicine skill can assist another character in recuperating from an injury, disease, or poison. To use Medicine checks or spells to treat a patient requires some house rules from DM, and these rules have to be applied to see how they affect recoveries. 

These are the disease that players can treat using the proficiency they have in medicine skill:


All the diseases listed in the Dungeon Master’s Guide (DMG) are curable using the medicine skill check. 

Crackle Fever: It has saving throws to avoid damage and a saving throw once a day for recovery. Medicine might cure the damage and end the effect of Crackle Fever. 

Sight Rot: It has an herbal cure that uses Herbalism Kit, but DM could allow you to use a Medicine check to cure the Sight Rot disease. 

Blue Slaad: Its claws spread “Chaos Phage,” a disease that shows its effect and ends the victim after a few days. Medicine might cure the disease and save the victim from transforming and getting affected.

Red Slaad: Red Slaad claws implant eggs or parasites as a disease in the body. We recommend destroying the eggs before they display any signs or develop into tadpoles within 24 hours, and medicine is a plausible cure for killing eggs. 

Slaad Control gem: A DC 20 Wisdom (Medicine) check care removes a slaad control gem disease. 

Gas Spore’s Death BurstIt does not provide additional saves but could last for hours before killing the victim. Medicine at DM’s discretion can potentially cure the disease before it could kill the victim. 


Although many poisons only give one chance to resist them, Antitoxin is the best cure against them. The list of toxins for which medicine may be able to assist with an injury are:

Burnt Othur Fumes: You can cure Burnt Othur Fumes using immediate action and damage repeats. 

Carrion Crawler Mucus: It paralyzes the creature, and repeating a saving throw at the end of each turn could end the effect of paralysis to cure the affected victim. 

Pale Tincture: You can cure the pale tincture by throwing save repeats every 24 hours. After each throw, the creature gets healed from the poison’s damage. 

Ettercap bite:  Use medicine to cure the damages of ettercape bite poison by repeating the saving throw at the end of each turn to end the poison’s effect. 


The Lingering Injuries rules of page 272 of DMG include Festering wounds that take ten days and a series of DC 15 Wisdom (Medicine) checks to heal. These wounds have an infernal wound that continuously damages the creature until a successful medicine check stops the bleeding. Here are the injuries that are curable using the medicine in D&D 5e:

Sword of wounding (DMG, page 207): The hit points get lost by the injuries caused by the Sword of the wounding weapon and could get cured after a short or long rest. Use the AC action to make DC 15 Wisdom (Medicine) check to end the effects of such wounds.

Glaive of a Bearded Devil (MM, page 74): The attack could cause Infernal wounds. Each time the devil hits the wounded target with his attack, the damage dealt by the wound increases by 5. A successful DC 12 Wisdom (Medicine) check to make action to stanch the wounds received by the target. 

The Tail of Horned Devil (MM, page 70):  The tail of the horned devil could injure the creature by constructing infernal wounds to the victim. 

The damage multiplies the wound by ten. You can use the DC 12 Wisdom (Medicine) to act to stanch the wounds and heal the victim. 

Claw of a Nycaloth (MM, page 314): Its sharp claws can cut the victim through his flesh and armor. You can use DC 13 Wisdom (Medicine) check can cure the wounds of the victim to recover from the injuries. 

Medicine has multiple uses that do not require the involvement of creatures regarded as specialized investigation-forensics skills to end disease or poisoning.


Can I Stabilize a Character if I Don’t Have Proficiency in the Medicine Skill or Any Healing Equipment or Abilities?

Using a Healer’s Kit, you can perform a medicine check without any healing equipment or activities (PHB, page 151). A Healer’s kit is a leather pouch containing bandages, salves, and splints. Using an action, you can expend one use of the kit to stabilize a creature having 0 hit points without any need to make a Wisdom (Medicine) check. 

Alternatively, according to the PHB’s guidelines on page 178 of the PHB, the Medicine skill is a Wisdom (Medicine) check that lets you try to stabilize a dying companion or diagnose an illness. 

The Medicine skill requires equipment (and has a matching cost) but removes the need to make the roll, while the Healer’s kit does nothing special but has the chance of failure. –NOT SURE

Is There a Way to Stabilize a PC With a Medicine Check?

You can stabilize a dying PC (Playable Character) with a Medicine Check. The Chapter on Using Ability Scores includes examples of each type of ability check used as a Medicine skill for stabilizing the creatures with 0 hit points. You can use your action to administer first aid to an unconscious creature by stabilizing it, which requires a successful DC 10 Wisdom (Medicine) check. A static DC 10 can check if you can get a +9 modifier to your medicine check to grant guaranteed success. 

Do You Need to Make a Medicine Check to Use the Second Benefit of the Healer Feat?

No, you do not need to make a Medicine check to use the second benefit of the Healer feat. The Healer Kit is an action that you can expend and use one of its kits to stabilize a creature that has 0 hit points without requiring to make a Wisdom (Medicine) check. The healer feat allows you to spend one user of the Healer’s kit to restore additional hit points that make it unique, or you may need to cast a spell or use a potion.