Des Moines University



Every profession has its jargon, a specialized language that allows for quick, efficient communication between members of the same profession while minimizing the potential for misunderstandings. Jargon is not unique to professions. Have you ever tried to understand two teenagers talking to each other? Adolescent slang serves some of the same purposes as a professional jargon including identifying “insiders” and excluding “outsiders.” However, it is in everyone’s interest to be an insider when it comes to medical terminology, the jargon of medicine. Being familiar with medical words makes your visit to the doctor less intimidating and, more importantly, enables you to make sound decisions about your health care in consultation with your family physician.

Health Care PractitionersHealth care practitioners

Medical terminology is a specialized language used by health care practitioners. And, just like a foreign language, it has its own vocabulary and ways of stringing together words in an acceptable, i.e., understandable to everyone, format. But, unlike a foreign language, you come across medical terminology every day in magazines and newspapers with articles about new drugs, diets, new medical treatments and on television medical dramas.