The Secret to Learning Medical Terms

How to Learn Medical Terminology Faster by J.S. Ginther © 2014

What's the Secret?

Learning medical words can become overwhelming. There is an easier way to learn medical terms without memorizing over 10,000 words one by one. By learning less than 1,500 word parts you will know the meaning and the pronunciation of most medical words when you see them for the first time. It is much easier learning 1,500 word parts than it is to learn 10,000 words.

The word parts we are talking about are:

  • 1. Prefixes
  • 2. Root words
  • 3. Suffixes

  • Combining vowels are added that have no meaning. These are added between these medical word parts to help you pronounce medical words more easily. Most medical and science words were derived from the Greek or Latin meanings of their word parts. You already know some of these and their meanings. You probably know the meaning of many common word parts like; -ing, -ed, and re-. Their meanings are:
  • -ing = now
  • -ed = before or in the past
  • re- = again

  • If a boy is kiss-ing a girl it means he is kissing her now. If he kiss-ed the girl it means he did it in the past. If he re-kisses the girl it means he kisses her again. Most medical words are composed using logical word parts relate to the meaning of the medical term in some way. The prefixes and suffixes alter the meaning of the root word in some way. The total meaning of the medical or scientific terms will generally have something to do with describing, categorizing, or defining what the word means.

    Most medical and science words were created in a logical way in ancient times. Unfortunately, today in our infinite modern wisdom; doctors and scientists have caused the use of logic to create new words to be a nearly extinct practice. Now, medical words may be some guys name who is trying not to be forgotten, or could be some other invented name that has nothing to do with the meaning of the word. Another problem is the meaning of some word parts has changed over time. These factors combined mean that you will still have to memorize many medical because they structure will have nothing to do with their meaning. But, don't worry. There are currently more medical words in existence that were logically formed from Greek and Latin word parts to make learning them a valuable short cut to increasing your medical vocabulary.