Medical Terminology

Topics: Medical terminology, Language, Inflection Pages: 3 (364 words) Published: October 15, 2013
Medical Terminology 1

Medical Terminology
words/terms which make up the language of medicine
Majority of terms are based in Latin or Greek
Serves as a Universal Language

Medical terms are broken down into FOUR word parts:

1. Stem/Root = gives the essential meaning of the term
2. Prefix = added to the beginning of the term
3. Suffix = placed after a word
4. Linking or Combining Vowels = connects roots to suffixes or roots to other words

Word Building
Involves two steps:
1. Knowing how to divide a medical term
2. Knowing the meaning of the term’s components

Example:
DERMATOLOGY

DERMAT/ O /LOGY
( root )(combining vowel) ( suffix )

Dermat/(refers to skin)/Logy(refers to Study Of)

Study of the Skin

Example:
CEPHALALGIA

CEPHAL//ALGIA
( root )( suffix )

Cephal/(refers to head)/Algia(refers to pain)

Pain in the Head

Example:
TACHYCARDIA

TACHY/ /CARDIA
( prefix ) ( root )

Tachy/(refers to fast)/Cardia(refers to heart)

Fast Heartbeat

Combining form = combination of the root and combining vowel
Examples:
DERMATO-

For GASTROENTEROLOGY, the combining forms are

Gastro- and Entero-

Rules regarding some exceptions on combining forms and combining vowels For suffixes (-IC), (-AC), (-ITIS), or begins with a vowel, the combining vowel is dropped. Words ending in (-IC) and (-AC) are adjectives and mean “pertaining to”. Examples:

GASTRICGASTR / ICpertaining to the stomach
CARDIACCARDI / ACpertaining to the heart
ENTERITISENTER / ITISinflammation of the intestines

Keeping a combining vowel between two root words, EVEN if the second root word begins with a vowel. Example:

GASTROENTERITISGASTR / O / ENTER / IT IS

Basic Rules in Word Building

1. Read the meaning of the medical words from the suffix to the...
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