Medical Terminology

Medical is the science and practice of caring for patients and their disease or injury, as well as promoting good health. This includes prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and palliation. Medical professionals use a system of words that has its own vocabulary to describe body parts and processes, diseases, and medications. Words within this system usually have prefixes, root words, suffixes, and combining form vowels to create specialized terms that are specific to the field of medicine. Medical terminology is rooted in ancient Greek and Latin, with the oldest medical writings dating back to Hippocrates.

A person’s family medical history can provide valuable information about his or her risk for certain diseases and disorders. For example, knowing that heart disease runs in a person’s family may prompt them to take steps to reduce their risks such as quitting smoking or losing weight. A patient’s family medical history also can be useful in identifying genetic mutations that may contribute to the development of a disease or disorder.

When a doctor takes a medical history of a patient, it is called a “history and physical.” A good history can help the physician determine the cause of a disease or disorder as well as recommend the best course of treatment for the patient. A thorough and complete medical history is a critical component of quality care and can often make the difference between life and death.

Medical terminology is a complex and unique language that many people find difficult to learn. However, there are a few tried and true methods that can help a person learn this vocabulary, including using flash cards and studying word parts. Word parts are the smallest units of words that help to define their meanings and include prefixes, root words, suffixes, combining form vowels, and other elements that make up medical terms.

Learning medical terminology is a slow process, and it is common for a student to get discouraged by the number of new terms that must be memorized. However, with a little persistence, the rewards can be great. Medical terminology is an important part of the medical profession, and it helps to understand how words are constructed in order to better grasp their meanings.

There are many different ways to study medical terminology, but some of the most effective methods include taking online courses and practicing on a flashcard maker. It is also helpful to pronounce each word out loud and in its context to make sure that it is pronounced correctly. This will also help to ingrain the term into the memory, which will make it easier for a person to remember and use in the future. The list below contains some of the most commonly used medical terms and their definitions. These terms are often found on the charts that providers use to record their notes about a patient. They are organized by category to help students and healthcare providers quickly find the term they need.