Medical Transcription Terminology
helpful note: proofreading is encouraged
throughout your course.
Medical terminology is taught in a
variety of units throughout your course. I will provide you with
some examples of common medical terms that I have used in the medical
field and that you may encounter during your medical transcription
I will try to define the terms with a basic, easy to understand
explanation. You should use your medical reference books for the
detailed, specific definitions.
Diabetes mellitus: a metabolic disorder
that produces hyperglycemia, (increased blood sugar). Common symptoms
may be increased thirst, increased urination and loss of weight.
Glucose: sugar, or blood sugar
Endocrine: refers to glands in the
body that secrete hormones into the bloodstream. Examples: pituitary,
thyroid, and adrenals
Pituitary: the master endocrine gland
that secretes hormones that control growth and reproduction. Examples:
growth hormone, prolactin, and adrenocorticotropic hormone, etc.
Thyroid: an endocrine gland in the
neck that produces hormones that help regulate metabolism
Symptoms: objective outward signs of
Syndrome: a group of symptoms
Bronchitis: An irritant from fumes,
allergens such as dust, or a virus or bacteria can cause the bronchial
airways to become inflamed and produce symptoms
Pneumonia: the lungs are inflamed from
a viral or bacterial infection
Pathology: the study of the causes
Laboratory: does clinical testing or
studies on blood or tissues from patients. Example: CBC blood tests,
urinalysis, and examinations of specimens of tissues.
Anesthesia: some loss of sensation,(you
may or may not lose consciousness). It is usually produced by administration
of an anesthetic medication to prepare you for surgery.
Appendectomy: removal of the appendix
Tonsillectomy: removal of the tonsils
by a surgical procedure
Incision: a cut usually made for surgery
Benign: not malignant ( not cancerous)
Carcinoma: a malignant growth, (cancerous)
Aphasia: difficulty with speech and
ability to communicate
Dysphagia: difficult to swallow
Dorsal: refers to the back, opposite
Lateral: refers to the side
Atrophy: the size decreases, or wasting
Bladder: urinary reservoir that collects
urine from the kidneys
Ureters: two tubes that bring urine
into the bladder from the kidneys
Urethra: the tube that empties the
urine from the bladder to the outside
of Common Medical Terms
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transcription tutor review page on HISTORY AND PHYSICAL EXAMINATIONS.