Why is it necessary to spend time learning the roots,suffixes and prefixes of medical terms when it is faster to memorize the actual medical terms?

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mizzwillie eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The reason roots, suffixes, and prefixes of medical terms are learned is so that the learner can transfer that knowledge to the next set of terms you must learn.   With all the medical terminology, it isn't faster  to memorize the actual terms.  The knowledge you must have will grow exponentially, and with the knowledge of what the parts mean, you can understand the term rather than just memorize it. The other reason you study the parts of a word is to learn what each of the parts mean so that they can be applied to new words you will need to know.  It provides a structure to figure out the meaning of words because the memory of actual terms is not always reliable, and you will need to figure out terms you haven't had to use before.  Understanding is better than memorizing which is the biggest reason why you study the parts of words and the creation of new terms.