Choose 6 medical terms that you may use in the career you chose i have picked Medical Office Assistant

  • List 6 examples of medical terms that you would come across in your career.
  • Define the 6 words you have chosen.
  • Define your 6 words by using prefixes, word roots, suffixes, or combining forms of medical terminology.

Expert Answers

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Six Medical Terms likely encountered by a Medical Assistant:


1.  Symptom: (L. and Gr. Symptoma Anything that has befallen one).  Subjective evidence of a disease or a patient’s condition.


Explanation:  a symptom is an abnormal condition that the patient experiences as a result of disease.  For example headache can be a symptom of brain tumor, abdominal pain a symptom of appendicitis.


2.  Sign: (L. signum).  Any objective evidence of a condition or disease that is perceptible to the examining physician, as opposed to the subjective sensation (symptom) of the disease.


Explanation:  A heart murmur (heard through the stethoscope) may be a sign of valvular heart disease, for which chest pain on exertion might be a symptom.


3.  Acute: (L. acutus sharp).  Having a short and relatively severe course.


Explanation:  As used in medicine, “acute” refers to brief duration or sudden onset of symptoms or disease, and not so much as the severity of the symptom or condition.


4.  Chronic: (L. chronicus, Gr. Chronos time).  Persisting over a long time.


Explanation:  A chronic disease or condition is one that has been present for a long time, usually weeks to months rather than days or hours (acute).  For example, appendicitis is considered an acute disease (acute appendicitis), whereas cancer has a chronic course.


5.  Etiology:  (Gr. Aitia cause + logy).  The study or the theory of the factors that cause disease; and the method of their introduction to the host. The cause(s) or origin of a disease or disorder.


Explanation:  A medical chart might state that a disease or condition has an infectious etiology, indicating that the disease is caused by the introduction of infectious organisms.


6.  Iatrogenic: (iatro + Gr. Gennan to produce).  Resulting from the activity of physicians.  Currently applied to any adverse condition in a patient occurring as the result of treatment by a physician or surgeon; especially to infections acquired by the patient during treatment.


Example:  The patient’s sepsis (blood poisoning) was iatrogenic, occurring as a complication of his infected intravenous fluid line.


Reference:  Doorland’s Illustrated Medical Dictionary, 32nd. Edition, El Sevier-Mosby-Saunders, 2011.


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