How do you pronounce Borborygmi? It is the rumbling in your stomach made by the gas in your intestines. If you are like me, the letters “y-g-m-i” at the end made it look daunting. However, if you sound it out, it is pronounced bawr-buh-rig-muh-s. How about Pruritus Ani? Commonly known as an itchy butt. It is pronounced “Pri-ri-tus Oni”. Chances are those were hard ones. However, in the healthcare field words like that come up all the time. It’s important to know not only what these words mean but how it is properly pronounced and spelled. A course like Medical Terminology is essential for medical students as they prepare to enter the healthcare field.
Medical Terminology Med School

Medical Terminology is a course offered in first semester to students (MD1) at Washington University of Health and Science. It is a course taught by Dr. Marilyn Gates, an accomplished neurosurgeon who primarily practices in the United States. She teaches the class through weekly Skype-sessions that are interactive and filled with clinical aspects.

Needless to say, the healthcare field has a language all its own. At it’s core, it is the basis to everything; from describing a symptom, to diagnosing, to communicating efficiently with other health professionals.

Although those reasons may be in the distant future for us MD1 students to appreciate, the use of Medical Terminology bears some immediate benefits. Dr. Marilyn Gates, pointed out that having a solid foundation in medical terminology will help during clinical rotation. This is the time after you’ve completed your basic science where you know get practical exposure to what has been taught. When you are able to pronounce and spell words with confidence you show those around that you are knowledgeable.

Lastly, there is another great advantage to studying Medical Terminology in first semester and that is it helps to reinforce all the terms and fundamental concepts we have learned throughout all our courses because it pulls on all major themes from Biochemistry to Anatomy and beyond.

One example of this is quite recently in medical terminology we looked at a chapter on the gastrointestinal system. Going over the proper terminology as well as the meaning of the words help to bring a breath of clarity to a dense topic like the abdomen. Reasons like this make medical terminology a course to always look forward to.

Rosemond Ennin
Medical Terminology