Welcome to the field of medical terminology. This workbook-textbook is written to teach the language of medicine in an engaging and meaningful way. It is written to represent the real world so that you can move seamlessly from the classroom to actual practice. The approach is based on research that demonstrates how students learn best. To that end, we used a three-pronged approach: (1) immersion—the terms are presented in context; (2) chunking— the material is given in manageable units; and (3) practice—exercises that
allow you to check your knowledge. Learning word parts is also an essential component of learning the terms. If you learn the tables of word parts, you will be well on your way to knowing medical terms you have never encountered, because you can figure out the terms by breaking them into their component word parts. This will be quite useful, because not every word you will encounter in your careers is found in this book, but you will be equipped with the knowledge to understand their meaning. We also encourage you to pay special attention to the analysis sections in the Study Tables, as these provide interesting, foundational information for forming medical terms.
While learning medical terminology, you will also learn some basic anatomy (body structures), physiology (body functions), and pathology (body diseases). Because medical terms describe the human body in health and in disease, attaining an elementary understanding of these topics will help you retain a working memory of medical language.
Learning medical terms can be easy if you approach the subject from a proper perspective. Begin by telling yourself that medical terms do not make up a separate language. Medical terms are simply words that you can add to your vocabulary. As with all words, medical words are meant to convey information.
As you enter a medical profession, you will be communicating with other medical professionals and with patients. Therefore, your job will include choosing words and sentence structures that convey accurate information and reflect a professional attitude. That is to say, both your communication skills and your attitude toward patients are very important. As you are about to discover, learning medical terminology can be easy at times and challenging at others. However, if you use the textbook and its ancillaries to their fullest, you will be well on your way to mastering medical terminology.
Judi L. Nath, Ph.D.
Kelsey P. Lindsley, R.Ph., Pharm.D.
Port Clinton, Ohio