Medical Terminology

Topics: Medical terminology, Latin, Prefix / Pages: 8 (1993 words) / Published: Jun 7th, 2012
Introduction To Medical Terminology
What is Medical Terminology?
It is the language of medicine. When studying this subject you will find that most medical words are divided into 3 categories: terms made from word parts; terms not made from word parts; terms which are eponyms (condition named for a person who first studied/identified/researched the disorder/disease)

About Word Parts
Words made from word parts usually consist of 2-3 parts. First, there is the combining form or root part. This describes what part of the body is being discussed. This root is modified by adding a suffix or prefix or both a suffix and prefix. For instance: arthro is the root/combining form meaning JOINT; -centesis is a suffix (remember a suffix is at the end of a word) meaning “puncture to remove fluid”. So, putting them together we get ARTHROCENTESIS, meaning puncture of a joint to remove fluid. (Note: notice that the definition is “puncture of a joint to remove fluid, so when trying to construct words the FIRST part of the definition (puncture of) is usually the suffix of the medical word. So, here we would start with centesis and add arthro at the front to make the correct medical term.)

Prefixes (at front of word) also modify the meaning; many times prefixes modify the amount, time, location or position. For instance trans is a prefix meaning across; derm is a root meaning skin and –al is a suffix meaning “referring to”. So, putting them together in the correct order (prefix, combining form, suffix) we get transdermal, meaning “across the skin”.

About Words NOT Made From Word Parts

The second category consists of medical terms not made from word parts. These are the vocabulary words we all remember from grade school. Every Friday the teacher gave us a list of new words to learn for Monday. We went home and studied them for our test on Monday. That’s what we have to do here, just study the vocabulary words.

Epoynyms

Lastly, we

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