The thermometer using differential temperature measurements utilizes a pair of adjacent temperature sensors in order to measure the temperature of a common surface over a pre-selected period of time. The thermometer includes a housing and first and second thermistors mounted adjacent one another on the housing. The first and second thermistors are positioned against the surface, which can be a body part (for oral, rectal or axial body temperature measurements) or can be any other desired surface for which a spot check temperature reading is desired. A programmable current source pre-heats the second thermistor to a pre-selected temperature, while the first thermistor is initially at room temperature. A controller inside the housing causes both the first and second thermistors to take instantaneous temperature measurements of the surface at two successive times. The controller linearizes the measurements to predict the temperature of the surface, which is then displayed to the user.