Metaphors are vital for medical practice and experience of illness. They enable negotiation of shared semantic space between physician’s and patient’s thought and language. For patients metaphors brighten difficult and abstract medical terminology regarding diagnosis, course of illness and therapy. They help attach shared meanings to body, health and illness. Metaphors also enable construction of the idea of what illness actually is, and thus they help in dealing with illness’ experience. It is due to the fact that metaphors enable expression of thoughts and feeling that are difficult to articulate: pain, suffering and fear of death. On the other hand, making use of metaphors may lead to misunderstanding and misinterpretation of reality. They may be a source of confusion, stereotypes and social exclusion. All in all, medical education should stress that medicine is not only a technē but also an art of interpretation in which metaphors are of key importance. Thus, this paper aims to describe main metaphors present in medical discourse: military metaphor, detective, terror, mechanic, (bio) informative, (bio)chemist, puzzle and riddle, economic, sport, ecologic, automobile, journey and dirt. I also describe some of metaphors present in genetic discourse: DNA as a text, code, information just as sacral and cartographic metaphors. My main thesis suggests, in opposition to Susan Sontag, that metaphors are vital to our understanding of illness and are essential for doctor - patient communication.