"Los médicos conocen bien a mi abuelo."
Translation:The doctors know my grandfather well.
I found the pronunciation for the phrase at the regular speed to be really poor.
"...know well my grandfather" is the same as "...know my grandfather well" in English.
While people may use that in other countries (than US), that is not the way most people would translate that sentence.
Maybe. But the general rule is to keep the adverb (bien) as close to the verb (conocen) as you can.
I considered the same thing and immediately dismissed it as being at the very least awkward. I find it easier to understand and remember the order of this sentence by slightly switching up the English translation. Literally, "The doctors know well my grandfather." Then I change it to "My grandfather is well-known to the doctors." At least it helps me with the "bien" not being at the end of the sentence.
"Doctors know my grandfather well" was marked wrong for me. It makes perfect sense. is often superfluous to English sensibilities and often does not translate with "the" being necessary/used . I see no reason it shouldn't be accepted in this example.
The definite article is never superfluous in Spanish. It is often used in Spanish when it is not used in English, but that doesn't make it superfluous.
The definite article in the Spanish sentence means either (a) we are talking about specific doctors or (b) all doctors in general. Since it wouldn't make sense for doctors in general to know any one person well, that can't be the interpretation of the Spanish. Thus, it can only be a reference to specific doctors.
In short, you need the definite article in the English translation.
Does this sentence suggest they know him personally (for example, as a friend), or could it also mean something like they know him well because he's ill so they see him a lot at the hospital? It could mean either in English, so I'm just wondering if the same dual meaning is possible in Spanish
Yes, the Spanish is no more clear. It's saying only that they are very familiar with the grandfather. We don't know any more about the basis for that familiarity from the Spanish.