If you learn common Greek and Latin roots or bases, prefixes, and suffixes, you can figure out the meaning of almost any medical term by breaking it down into parts. This would be much easier than memorizing whole words.
For example, the word "pericarditis" means inflammation around the heart. If we look at the whole word broken down into root word and affixes:
Medical terms can be formed using several combinations, and sometimes use more than one root word:
For more tips, read the article "Super Easy Tips to Learn Medical Terminology" on the AIMS blog, which links to more resources for medical roots/bases and affixes, including this worksheet from Appalachian State.
These are "umbrella" and departmental terms important to know in healthcare, according to the AIMS blog, which has short definitions. Click on the words to hear how they are pronounced.
Learning medical terms for each part of the body will help you understand general medical records. Click on the words to hear how they are pronounced.
|Abdominal – Abdomen||Cranial – Skull|
|Digital – Fingers and toes||Femoral – Thigh|
|Gluteal – Buttock||Inguinal – Groin|
|Lumbar – Loin||Mammary – Breast|
|Nasal – Nose||Pectoral – Chest|
|Thoracis – Chest||Ventral – Stomach|
|ACL||anterior cruciate ligament (commonly injured part of the knee)|
|AMI||acute myocardial infarction (heart attack)|
|CAT||computerized axial tomography (a type of x-ray)|
|MMR||measles, mumps, & rubella (a vaccine for three diseases)|
|NSAID||non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (drugs like ibuprofen)|
|SOB||shortness of breath|
|WBC||white blood cell|