Medical Terminology - Vincent Richards - E-Book

Medical Terminology E-Book

Vincent Richards

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Unlock the keys to successfully integrating complex Medical Terminology to your repertoire of verbal understanding.

Learning all the necessary Medical Terminology for successful navigation of your job or schooling doesn’t have to be an overwhelming and daunting task.

In fact, mastering and learning to properly pronounce all of these terms is a rather simple process, so long as you go about it the right way.

By exploring the fundamentals of the word structure, its foundation, and in understanding why it appears the way it does, you will find yourself effortlessly memorizing thousands of terms.

In Medical Terminology you’ll encounter a simple use of easily understood language bringing a more neutral and easy to digest energy to this process of learning.

As you dive into the process itself, Medical Terminology will guide you through a straight forward two-step process:

  • The first step will help you to better comprehend the art of creating and concurrently breaking down words, expanding your mastery of the language itself
  • The second step integrates a greater understanding of the body in order to fully assimilate the new verbiage
The major systems of the body are highlighted as Medical Terminology is divided into 6 chapters - each one covering an extensive look into the complex mechanisms by which the body functions.

Through each of these 6 chapters, you will experience a profound expansion of knowledge as you come to better understand not only your own body but why the terminology used to describe it has been systemized the way it has.

From understanding, You’ll even find yourself diving deep into the:
  • Body Structure
  • Cell structure
  • Bone structure
  • The Muscular System
  • And the Cardiovascular System
  • Genetics and DNA
  • Types of muscle tissues
  • Joints
  • Terms for muscular motions
And so much more.

Medical Terminology is going to take you on a unique journey, unlike anything you might find anywhere else in the industry. The fun and interactive tone makes for a light-hearted read and revels in that you can pick this book up at any moment, turn to any page you like, and still discover something new.

You’ll boldly exude your confidence as you memorize how the words are configured and shared, and once you’ve mastered them using the terminology in your daily will be as effortless as getting up in the morning.

Medical Terminology is the book to catalyze this process of fully integrating thousands of new words into your vocabulary. Your friends, family, and co-workers will gawk at your efficiency and be lining up to ask how you’ve done it.

If you want to discover the fastest and most efficient way to memorize over 2000 of the most commonly used medical terms, then you need this book today!

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Medical Terminology

Master Your Medical Vocabulary by Learning to Pronounce, Understand and Memorize over 2000 of the Most Commonly Used Medical Terms.

––––––––

Vincent Richards

© Copyright 2019 - All rights reserved.

The content contained within this book may not be reproduced, duplicated or transmitted without direct written permission from the author or the publisher.

Under no circumstances will any blame or legal responsibility be held against the publisher, or author, for any damages, reparation, or monetary loss due to the information contained within this book. Either directly or indirectly.

Legal Notice:

This book is copyright protected. This book is only for personal use. You cannot amend, distribute, sell, use, quote or paraphrase any part, or the content within this book, without the consent of the author or publisher.

Disclaimer Notice:

Please note the information contained within this document is for educational and entertainment purposes only. All effort has been executed to present accurate, up to date, and reliable, complete information. No warranties of any kind are declared or implied. Readers acknowledge that the author is not engaging in the rendering of legal, financial, medical or professional advice. The content within this book has been derived from various sources. Please consult a licensed professional before attempting any techniques outlined in this book.

By reading this document, the reader agrees that under no circumstances is the author responsible for any losses, direct or indirect, which are incurred as a result of the use of information contained within this document, including, but not limited to, — errors, omissions, or inaccuracies.

Table Of Contents

Introduction

Chapter 1: Basic Concepts of Medical Terminology

Understanding Word Parts

Root

Prefix

Suffix

Word Derivations

Acronyms

Antonyms

Eponyms

Homonyms

Chapter 2: Body Structures

The Body Planes

The Horizontal Plane

The Vertical Planes

Body Direction Terms

Major Body Cavities

The Dorsal Cavity

The Ventral Cavity

Regions of the Thorax and Abdomen

Quadrants of the Abdomen

The Peritoneum

Chapter 3: Cell Structures

The Structure of Cells

Stem Cells

Adult Stem Cells

Embryonic Stem Cells

Genetics

Dominant and Recessive Genes

The Human Genome

Chromosomes

DNA

Genetic Mutation

Tissues

Glands

Chapter 4: The Skeletal System

The Formation of Bones

The Structure of Bones

The Tissues of Bone

Bone Marrow

Cartilage

Anatomic Landmarks of Bones

Joints

Fibrous Joints

Cartilaginous Joints

Synovial Joints

Components of Synovial Joints

The Skeleton

Bones of the Skull

Thoracic (thoh-RAS-ick) Cavity

The Shoulders

The Arms

The Wrists, Hands, and Fingers

The Spinal Column

The Pelvic Girdle

The Legs and Knees

Chapter 5: The Muscular System

Structures of the Muscular System

Muscle Fibers

The Fascia

Tendons

Types of Muscle Tissue

Skeletal Muscles (Striated or voluntary muscles)

Smooth Muscles (Visceral or Involuntary muscles)

Myocardial Muscle (Cardiac muscle)

Muscular Contraction and Relaxation

Muscle Innervation

Antagonistic Muscle Pairs

Terms for Muscular Motions

Abduction and Adduction

Flexion and Extension

Elevation and Depression

Rotation and Circumduction

Pronation and Supination

Dorsiflexion and Plantar Flexion

How Muscles are Named

Based on Their Origin and Insertion:

Based on Their Action:

Based on Their Location:

Based on the Fiber Direction:

Based on the Number of Divisions

Based on Shape or Size

Based on Strange Reasons

Muscles and Their Functions

Muscles of the Head:

Muscles of the Trunk

Muscles of the Shoulders and Arms

Muscles of the Legs

Chapter 6: Nervous System

Divisions of the Nervous System

The Nerves

The Reflexes

The Neurons

Neuron Parts

Neurotransmitters

Glial Cells

The Myelin Sheath

The Central Nervous System

The Meninges

Cerebrospinal Fluid

The Parts of the Brain

The Cerebrum

The Cerebral Hemispheres

The Cerebral Lobes

The Thalamus

The Hypothalamus

The Cerebellum

The Brainstem

The Spinal Cord

The Peripheral Nervous System

The Cranial Nerves

The Peripheral Spinal Nerves

The Autonomic Nervous System

Chapter 7: The Cardiovascular system

Blood

Structures of the Cardiovascular System

The Heart

The Pericardium

The Walls of the Heart

Blood Supply to the Myocardium

The Chambers of the Heart

The Valves of the Heart

Pulmonary and Systemic Circulation

Systemic circulation:

The Heartbeat

Electrical Waves

The Blood Vessels

Arteries

Capillaries

Veins

The Venae Cavae

Pulse

Blood Pressure

Blood

Plasma

Cells of the Blood

Blood Types

The Rhesus factor (Rh factor)

Blood Gases

Chapter 8. Endocrine system

Structures of the Endocrine System

The Thyroid Gland

The Pancreas (Pancreatic Islets)

The Pineal Gland

The Thymus

The Pituitary Gland

The Gonads

The Adrenal Glands

The Parathyroid Glands

Specialized Types of Hormones

Steroids

Hormones Secreted by Fat Cells

Neurohormones

Chapter 9: The Integumentary System

The Structures of The Skin

The Epidermis

The Dermis

The Subcutaneous Layer

The Sebaceous (seh-BAY-shus) Glands

The Sweat Glands

The Hair

The Nails

Chapter 10: The Lymphatic and Immune Systems

Absorption of Fats and Fat-Soluble Vitamins

Interstitial Fluid and Lymph Creation

Structures of the Lymphatic System

Lymphatic Circulation

Lymphatic Capillaries

Lymphatic Vessels and Ducts

Lymph Nodes

Lymphocytes

B Cells

T Cells

Additional Structures of the Lymphatic System

The Tonsils

The Thymus Gland

The Vermiform Appendix

The Spleen

The Immune System

The Immune System’s First Line of Defense

The Antigen-Antibody Reaction

Immunoglobulins

Phagocytes

The Complement System

Immunity

Chapter 11: The Respiratory System

Structures of the Respiratory System

The Nose

The Tonsils

The Paranasal Sinuses

The Pharynx (Throat)

Larynx (voice box)

Protective Swallowing Mechanisms

Trachea (or windpipe)

Bronchi

Alveoli (air sacs)

The Lungs

Mediastinum

Pleura

Diaphragm

Respiration (Breathing)

Inhalation and Exhalation

External Respiration

Internal Respiration

Chapter 12: The Digestive System

The Oral Cavity (Mouth)

Lips

Palate

Tongue

Soft Tissues of the Oral Cavity

Dental Arches

Teeth

Structures and Tissues of the Teeth

Saliva and Salivary Glands

Pharynx

Esophagus

Stomach

Small Intestine

Large Intestine

Cecum

The Colon

The Rectum and Anus

Accessory Digestive Organs

Liver

Biliary Tree

Gallbladder

Pancreas

Digestion

Metabolism

Absorption

The Role of the Mouth, Salivary Glands, and Esophagus

The Role of the Stomach

The Role of the Small Intestine

The Role of the Large Intestine

Chapter 13: The Reproductive System

The Male Reproductive System

The Scrotum and Testicles

Semen Formation

The Penis

The Vas Deferens, Seminal Vesicles, and the Ejaculatory Duct

The Prostate Gland

The Bulbourethral Glands

The Urethra

The Female Reproductive System

The external female genitalia:

The breasts

The Internal Female Genitalia

Menstruation

Terms Related to Pregnancy and Childbirth

Ovulation

Fertilization

Multiple Births

The Chorion and Placenta

The Amniotic Sac

The Umbilical Cord

Gestation

The Mother

Childbirth

The First Stage:

The Second Stage:

The Third Stage:

Postpartum

The Mother

Puerperium

Lochia

Uterine involution

Colostrum

Lactation

Postpartum depression

The Baby

Apgar Scores

Chapter 14: Other Sensory Systems

The Eyes

The Adnexa of the Eyes

The Orbit

Muscles of the Eye

The Eyelids, Eyebrows, and Eyelashes

The Conjunctiva

The Lacrimal Apparatus

The Eyeball

Walls of the Eyeball

Segments of the Eyeball

Structures of the Retina

The Uvea

The Iris

The Ciliary Body

The Cornea, Pupil, and Lens.

Normal Action of the Eye

The Ears

The Inner Ear

The Middle Ear

The Auditory Ossicles

The Eustachian Tubes

The Outer Ear

Normal Action of the Ears

Chapter 15: Medical Specialties

General Medical Specialties Relating to Health and Disease

Medical Specialties Related to the Skeletal System

Medical Specialties Related to the Cardiovascular System

Medical Specialties Related to the Lymphatic And Immune Systems

Medical Specialties Related to the Respiratory System

Medical Specialties Related to the Digestive System

Medical Specialties Related to the Urinary System

Medical Specialties Related to the Nervous System

Medical Specialties Related to the Eyes

Medical Specialties Related to the Ears

Medical Specialties Related to the Integumentary System

Medical Specialties Related to the Endocrine System

Medical Specialties Related to the Male Reproductive System

Medical Specialties Related to the Female Reproductive System and Childbirth

Introduction

To master medical terminologies, you have to do more than just memorizing the terms, you need to explore the terms and how they can be created. This will reveal medical mysteries to you, and provide you with a better knowledge of every subject-based term.

Take this book as a private course that you must undertake to acquaint yourself with the medical terms used daily in hospitals, clinics, laboratories, pharmacies, and even health insurance companies.

The mastery starts with mastering the medical language itself. Hence, this book starts with the background of medical terminology; digging into the details of the formation of words, word parts, pronunciation, usage, and recognition. This will help you gain a better understanding of the art of creating and breaking down of words.

The second process involves understanding the different body systems and the words associated with them. Your knowledge of prefixes, suffixes, and root words will enable you to master various aspects of the terminology.

Please note that you are not obliged to read the whole of this book nor remember all the details in every chapter. You can read the chapters randomly and skip any chapter that you don’t need. You can always check the skipped sections another time.

There are some unique conventions in this book especially in making the terminologies easy to pronounce, that you may not find elsewhere. I deliberately used such a style in order to create a lively tone.

Systems of the body are used to divide the major chapters. Each system chapter explains how the body system works. The language with which I explained things is simple and easy to understand; so, you might see some informal words that you were not hitherto used to. This is done to neutralize the official terms that you are used to.

You can pick up this book at any time and study it in order to gain mastery of medical terminology. Understanding the how and why of medical terms is not less important than learning the terms themselves. This is the reason we put those chapters first. Nevertheless, feel free to study very hard the sections that you find very useful. Exude boldness and confidence while reading the book. Once you have mastered how these words are made, you will find it easy to memorize and master the terms in your daily life.

Chapter 1: Basic Concepts of Medical Terminology

Medical terminology refers to a unique vocabulary used by healthcare practitioners for efficient and effective communication. It includes various terms that describe the body organs, system, and functions (human anatomy and physiology). It also explains body locations, diagnostic imaging, diseases, laboratory testing, surgeries, diagnoses and lots more. All these deserve to have specific names, otherwise, medical professionals would find it difficult to communicate with one another. For instance, your doctor may cure you of a shoulder pain once you have complained to him. But while communicating with a surgeon, the doctor needs to be more specific.

Medical terminologies are uniform and consistent globally. This is because the words are originally derived from Greek and Latin words. Some of the terms may be long, they sometimes summarize a phrase to a single word. For example, gastroduodenostomy is a word that means “communication between the stomach and the first part of the small intestine.”

Medical terminology is a vast field of knowledge. It is synonymous to learning the vocabulary of a foreign language. A a result of the ever-changing slangs in various fields, the medical vocabulary doesn’t stop expanding. It seems to be an overwhelming task, however, there are methods that can be adopted in learning and mastering of words. Such methods can also help in guessing the meanings of new words.

Understanding Word Parts

Virtually every Medical term has its roots from the combination of prefixes, roots, and suffixes. Such component parts maintain their original meaning anywhere they are used. Learning these meanings would help you inanalyze and master many words. The root words are many because they fundamental to the meaning of every word. There are more roots than prefixes and suffixes combined.

Root

A root is the most important component of a word. Medical roots can signify a disease, procedure, or body part. While some roots can be found at the beginning of a word, others can be found after a prefix, before a suffix, or between a prefix and a suffix. Two or more roots can also be combined to form a word, as in cardi-o-vascular and cardi-o-pulmonary. O is the vowel that is most commonly used for such combinations.

Examples of roots used in different positions are listed below.

Angi

, a root which stands for the vessel, can be found in the word

angiodema

. This is an example of a root that appears at the beginning of a word.

Cephal

, a root word which stands for the head can be found in the word

encephalic

. This is an example of a root in the middle of a word.

Derm

, a root word which stands for skin, can be found in words such as ‘scleroderma’, an example of a root word used at the end of a word.

An example of the combination of roots is phototherapy. While photo means light, therapy means treatment.

Table 1: Common Exterior Root Words

Exterior Root

What It Means

Acr/o

Extremities

Amb/i

Both sides/double

Anter/o

Front

Aut/o

Self

Axill/o

Armpit, axilla

Blephar/o

Eyelid or eyelash

Brachi/o

Arm

Bucc/o

Cheek (on the face!)

Canth/o

Angle formed where eyelids meet

Capit/o

Head

Carp/o

Wrist

Caud/o

Tail/downward

Cephal/o

Head

Cervic/o

Neck or cervix (neck of the uterus)

Cheil/o, chil/o

Lip

Cheir/o, chir/o

Hand

Cili/o

Eyelash or eyelid, or small hair-like processes

Cor/e, cor/o

Pupil of eye

Crani/o

Skull

Cubit/o

Elbow

Dactyl/o

Fingers or toes

Derm/a, derm/o, dermat/o

Skin

Dors/i, dors/o

Back or posterior

Faci/o

Face

Gingiv/o

Gums in mouth

Gloss/o

Tongue

Gnath/o

Jaws

Inguin/o

Groin

Irid/o

Iris of eye

Labi/o

Lips

Lapar/o

Abdomen, loin, or flank

Later/o

Side

Lingu/o

Tongue

Mamm/a, mamm/o

Breast

Mast/o

Breast

Nas/o

Nose

Occipit/o

Back of the head

Ocul/o

Eye

Odont/o

Teeth

Omphal/o

Umbilicus

Onych/o

Nails

Ophthalm/o, ocul/o

Eyes

Optic/o, opt/o

Seeing, sight

Or/o

Mouth

Ot/o

Ear

Papill/o

Nipple

Pelv/o, pelv/i

Pelvis

Phall/o

Penis

Pil/o

Hair

Pod/o

Foot

Rhin/o

Nose

Somat/o

Body

Steth/o

Chest

Stomat/o

Mouth

Tal/o

Ankle

Tars/o

Foot

Thorac/o

Chest / thorax

Trachel/o

Neck or neck-like

Trich/o

Hair or hair-like

Ventr/i, ventr/o

Front of body

Table 2: Common Interior Root Words

Interior Root

What It Means

Abdomin/o

Abdomen

Acanth/o

Spiny or thorny

Acetabul/o

Acetabulum

Acromi/o

Acromium

Aden/o

Gland

Adip/o

Fat

Adren/o

Adrenal gland

Alveoli/o

Air sac

An/o

Anus

Angi/o

Vessel

Aort/o

Aorta

Arteri/o, arter/o

Artery

Arteriol/o

Arteriole

Aspir/o

To breathe in

Ather/o

Plaque, fat

Athr/o, articul/o

Joint

Atri/o

Atrium

Audi/o, aur/i

Hearing

Balan/o

Glans penis

Bio-

Life

Bronch/i, bronch/o

Bronchus

Bronchiol/o, bronchiol/i

Bronchiole

Carcin/o

Cancer

Cardi/o

Heart

Cellul/o

Cell

Cerebell/o

Cerebellum

Cerebr/i, cerebr/o

Cerebrum

Chol/e

Bile

Cholangi/o

Bile duct

Cholecyst/o

Gallbladder

Choledoch/o

Common bile duct

Chondr/i, chondr/o

Cartilage

Chrom/o, chromat/o

Color

Col/o, colon/o

Colon

Colp/o

Vagina

Cost/o

Rib

Cry/o

Cold

Crypt/o

Hidden

Cutane/o

Skin

Cyan/o

Blue

Cysti, cyst/o

Bladder or cyst

Cyt/o

Cell

Dipl/o

Double, twice

Duoden/o

Duodenum

Encephal/o

Brain

Enter/o

Intestine

Episi/o

Vulva

Erythr/o

Red

Esophag/o

Esophagus

Fibr/o

Fibers

Galact/o

Milk

Gastr/o

Stomach

Glyc/o

Sugar

Gynec/o

Female

Hemat/o, hem/o

Blood

Hepat/o, hepatic/o

Liver

Heter/o

Other, different

Hidr/o

Sweat

Hist/o, histi/o

Tissue

Hom/o, home/o

Same, alike

Hydr/o

Water, wet

Hyster/o

Uterus

Iatr/o

Treatment

Ile/o

Ileum (intestine)

Ili/o

Ilium (pelvic bone)

Intestin/o

Intestine

Jejun/o

Jejunum

Kerat/o

Cornea of eye, horny tissue

Lacrima

Tears

Laryng/o

Larynx

Leuk/o

White

Lipid/o

Fat

Lith/o

Stone (in gallbladder or kidney)

Lymph/o

Lymph vessels

Melan/o

Black

Men/o

Menses, menstruation

Mening/o

Meninges

Metr/a, metr/o

Uterus

My/o

Muscle

Myel/o

Bone marrow or spinal cord

Myring/o

Eardrum

Nat/o

Birth

Necr/o

Death

Nephr/o

Kidney

Neur/o

Nerve

Oophor/o

Ovary

Orchid/o, orchi/o

Testis

Oss/eo, oss/i, ost/e, ost/eo

Bone

Palat/o

Roof of mouth

Path/o

Disease

Peritone/o

Peritoneum

Pharmac/o

Drug

Pharyng/o

Pharynx

Phleb/o

Vein

Phren/o

Diaphragm

Pleur/o

Pleura, rib (side)

Pneum/a, pneum/o

Lungs

Pneum/ato, pneum/ono

Lungs

Poli/o

Gray matter of nervous system

Proct/o

Rectum, anus

Pulmon/o

Lungs

Py/o

Pus

Pyel/o

Pelvis of kidney

Rect/o

Rectum

Ren/i, ren/o

Kidney

Sacr/o

Sacrum

Salping/o

Fallopian tube

Sarc/o

Flesh

Scapul/o

Scapula

Sept/o

Infection

Splen/o

Spleen

Spondyl/o

Vertebra

Stern/o

Sternum

Tend/o, ten/o, tendin/o

Tendon

Testicul/o

Testis

Therm/o

Heat

Thorac/o

Chest

Thym/o

Thymus

Thyr/o

Thyroid gland

Thyroid/o

Thyroid gland

Tonsill/o

Tonsils

Trache/o

Trachea

Tympan/o

Eardrum

Ur/e, ur/ea, ur/eo, urin/o, ur/o

Urine

Ureter/o

Ureter

Urethr/o

Urethra

Uter/o

Uterus

Vas/o

Vas deferens

Vas/o, ven/o, ven/i

Vein

Vesic/o

Bladder

Viscer/o

Viscera (internal organs)

Xanth/o

Red, redness

Xer/o

Dry

Prefix

A prefix involves one or more letters attached to the beginning of a root. Most prefixes used in the medical field can also be seen in standard English vocabulary. To easily get the meaning of a word, you need to compare it with another word that begins with the same prefix. For instance, in the words ‘antislavery’ and ‘antihistamine’, ‘anti’ means against slavery and against histamine respectively. Histamine means the compound that produces allergic reactions.

Table 3: Common Prefixes

Prefix

What It Means

A-, an-

Lack of, without, not

Ante-

Before, in front of, or forward

Anti-

Opposing or against

Bi-

Double, two, twice, both

Co-, con-, com-

Together or with

De-

Down, or from

Di-

Twice or two

Extra-, extro-

Beyond, outside of, or outward

Hemi-, semi-

Half, half of

Hyp-, hypo-

Below, beneath, deficient

Hyper-

Above, excessive, beyond

Infra-

Below or beneath

Inter-

Between

Intra-

Within, inside

Intro-

Into, or within

Macro-

Large

Micro-, micr-

Tiny, small

Post-

After, or following, behind

Pre-, pro-

In front of, before, preceding

Retro-

Behind, backward

Semi-

Half

Trans-

Through or across

Tri-

Three

Ultra-

Excessive, beyond

Some prefixes share the same meaning, but they look different. Examples are listed below.

Anti- and contra- stand for against.

Dys and mal stand for bad or painful.

Epi-, supra-, and hyper- stand for above.

Endo- and intra- stand for within.

However, there are some prefixes whose meanings are opposite to each other despite looking or sounding similar. Some of them are:

Ad- means toward; ab means away from (abduct).

Post- means after; pre-, pro-, and ante- mean before.

Hyper-, epi-, and supra-, mean above; sub-, intra-, and hypo mean below.

Hypo- means deficient; hyper- means excessive.

Brady- stands for slow; while tachy means fast.

Suffix

A Suffix consists of one or more letters attached to the end of a root. A suffix that starts with a consonant always has a combining vowel such as “o” placed before the suffix. In medical terminology, common suffixes include the addition of -y to a word to mean a procedure. An example is gastroscopy meaning the endoscopic examination of the stomach. The addition of -ly to a word means an act or process. An example is splenomegaly meaning the abnormal enlargement of spleen

Table 4: Common Suffixes

Suffix

What It Means

-ac, -al, -ar, -ary, -form, -ic, -ical, -ile, -oid, -ory, -ous, -tic

Related to, or pertaining to

-ate, -ize

Subject to, use

-ent, -er, -ist

Person, agent

-genic

Produced by

-gram

A written record

-graph

An instrument used to record

-graphy

Process of recording

-ia, -ism, -sis, -y

Condition or theory

-ian, -iatrics, -iatry, -ics, -ist, -logy

Medical specialties

-itis

Inflammation

-ologist

One who studies, specialist

-ology

Study of, the process of study

-oma

Tumor

-pathy

Disease, disease process

-phobia

Morbid fear of or intolerance

-scope

An instrument used to visually examine

-scopy

Process of visual examination

Word Derivations

As stated earlier, most medical terms have their roots traced from Greek and Latin. Sometimes, the original words and their meanings can be found in the text. For example, the word “coccyx” which means the tail end of the spine, has its origin from cuckoo due to the semblance between the cuckoo’s bill and the spine end. The word “acrocyanosis” has its origin from “acr” meaning extremities and the “o” vowel which is joined with the root “cyan” meaning blue with -osis, a suffix which stands for the condition. The combination of all these means a situation of blue extremities.

Another example is the word “muscle” which originated from “mouse” because there is a semblance between the movement of muscles under the skin and the movement of a mouse.

With constant practice, you will become acquainted with various medical terms, and find it easy to interpret and combine them to form meaningful words.

Acronyms

An acronym is a word, or an abbreviation, formed using the first letters or syllables of other words. Uppercase letters are mostly used to express acronyms. There are many other common and uncommon acronyms in medical terminology. While some are identical, others have similar sounds with different meanings. Knowing the context in which they are used will go a long way in understanding a particular word or acronym.

Antonyms

An antonym is a word that means the opposite of another word. Examples are back and front, right and left, up and down, slow and fast, right and wrong. Some prefixes can also be paired as opposites as regards medical terms.

Table 5: Medical Antonyms

Prefix

What It Means

Ab-

Moving away from (abduction)

Ad-

Drawing toward (adduction)

Anterior-

Front

Posterior-

Back

Bio-

Life

Necro-

Death

Brady-

Slow

Tachy-

Fast

Cephalo-

Head (upward)

Caudo-

Tail (downward)

Endo-

Within, inside

Exo-

Outside

Eu-

Normal, well

Dys-

Difficult, unwell

Hyper-

Above or excessive

Hypo-

Below or deficient

Leuko-

White

Melano-

Black

Pre-

Before or in front of

Post-

After or behind

Proximal-

Near (think proximity)

Distal-

Away from (think distance)

Superior-

Above

Inferior-

Below

Eponyms

In the medical field, an eponym is a term that is named after the person that discovered a particular body part or disease. There are several tests and procedures named after the corresponding inventors.

Stated below are some examples of eponyms used for medical conditions.

Alzheimer’s disease is a kind of irreversible dementia Cushing’s syndrome. The disease mostly occurs as a result of excess cortisol from the adrenal cortex.

Stoke-Adams syndrome is a heart condition that causes loss of consciousness.

Lyme disease is a multi-systematic disorder that is transmitted by ticks.

Down syndrome, also known as trisomy 21, is a chromosomal disorder. It was formally called mongolism.

Peyronie’s disease is a deformity of the penis as a result of fibrous tissue found in the tunica albunigea.

Addison’s disease normally occurs as a result of insufficient production of hormones from the cortex of the adrenal gland.

Parkinson’s disease is a disease that causes weakness, tremors, and rigidity. It occurs as a result of the progressive degeneration of the nervous system.

There are some parts of the body that were named after the persons that discovered them. Some of them are:

Bartholin’s glands found in the female perineum.

Wernicke’s center which serves as the center of speech in the brain.

Cowper’s glands found below the male urethra.

Ligament of Treitz located in the intestinal tract.

Medical procedures:

Allen’s test. This is a test done for occlusion of ulnar or radial arteries.

Belsey Mark IV operation is a procedure used to correct gastroesophageal reflux.

Heimlich maneuver is a method used for removing foreign objects from the airway of a choking victim.

Medical devices:

Some medical devices are named after their inventors. Examples are explained below.

A Hickman catheter serves as a central venous catheter that is inserted to be used for the long term.

The Foley catheter is an indwelling urinary catherer.

A Malecot catheter is a tube used for gastronomy feedings.