bestology 2023 Week 9 – Medical Terminology

Published by Kevin Lidington on

Medical Terminology

Week 9

 What an amazing body we have! In the past eight weeks we have been learning about the different parts of the body and how they all function together. Through studying the body, we have learned that there are a lot of medical terms that are associated with the human body.  That being said, this week we are going to take a look at “Medical Terminology”.  Before we begin, take the following quiz “Can You Pass A Basic Medical Terminology Quiz?” to see how much you know about medical terms.   

What was your score?  Did you find it challenging?  Over the years, medical professionals have come up with a vast amount of medical terminology.  Much like we use the English language to communicate with others, doctors have come up with medical terms that deal with the human body.  Often when we first hear of medical terms, we can be left thinking we are hearing a foreign language.  If this is you, you’re not alone.  The key to understanding medical terminology is often to focus on their components. When we say components, we are talking about the prefixes, root, and suffixes of the word.  Just knowing a handful of these components can help you understand a vast amount of medical terms. 

 Take a look at the following example below on breaking down different components of medical terminology.

  •        The prefix is the beginning of the word. This can be referring to the amount, size, color, location, etc. 
  •        The root is the middle part of the word relating to a part of the body. 
  •        The suffix is the ending part of the word.  This can be referring to the procedure, the amount, location, size, color, problem, etc. 

As we will learn in this lesson, medical words can be broken down into small pieces to help you better understand the meaning. Often these words are from Greek or Latin roots, so having a dictionary on hand can be helpful.  Stay with me as we journey through “Medical Terminology”. 



 Grab a notebook or your journal and research the following: 

  •       Watch the following video on Medical Terminology:  “Medical Terminology – The Basics – Lesson 1”. 
  •       Give a definition of “Medical Terminology”.  Next, go to the following website, “Medical Terminology – A thru Z” that lists prefix’s, root words, and suffixes.  Scroll through the different terms listed in Alphabetic order.  Write down five prefixes, root words, and suffix’s you hear often from the article and their definition. Hopefully, this helps you learn something new and makes the medical world a tad more understanding.


 Group – It is important to use the correct medical term. But many times people writing a tv show or movie might not portray the medical or police field as accurately as they should.  Read this article on a few words that can sound similar but make a major difference if incorrectly used.

As a group, find a clip of a tv show using medical terms. Listen carefully to their medical terminology and write down that scene into your journal or device. Then as a group rewrite that scene but find a term that sounds similar but is different. How would that make the whole scene different? Would it be a bad, dangerous or funny mishap? Be prepared to present to the class first showing the clip then reading or acting out your new scene with the new medical term. Then have the audience respond with what they heard from the original script vs the new script. If they cannot figure out what the differences are then be prepared to share. 

Additional Resources: Case Reports: Confused and Misused Terms 

Medical Words to Never Confuse 

 Individual –This is a difficult topic for many.  If you are struggling with someone’s diagnosis, please talk privately with your teacher.

According to the American Cancer Society, about 1.8 million Americans will be diagnosed with cancer in 2020.  Check out this article on basic cancer terms and write in your journal an easy definition of ten terms you think you would hear the most or need to learn.

If and when someone is diagnosed with cancer, it is good to know cancer terms so you can be available for the person diagnosed instead of asking them question after question. When someone is diagnosed they are probably going through the stages of grief and the best thing for you to do is listen to them and be there for them. Check out the article How to Be a Friend to Someone With Cancer and write down what you can do for a friend, neighbor, or someone close to you if they get a diagnosis. 

BEST connection

Go through the BEST kit and write down any of the items that use a special terminology that is specific to our program. Maybe there is terminology in the generic rules that we use. How would you describe BESTto someone and make sure they understand all the terminology.

Community Connection

 Wow. I don’t know about you, but after the COVID-19 pandemic, we are all so much more thankful for our health community and essential workers. They all have to know medical terms and be able to communicate with others about medical terminology whether it is a patient, health care worker, school about a child, etc.  Who else uses medical terminology and needs to know what terms mean? Interpreters, news journalists, speech-language pathologists, counselors, diagnosticians, teachers, and more need to know about medical terms to better understand the clients around them but also to better understand how to support one another.  Has there ever been a time where you googled a symptom or diagnosis to figure something out? Medical terminology really is a helpful skill to have no matter what career path you choose. If you want, read this article, “Why You Should Take a Medical Terminology Course” about taking a course at school or online. 

Have you figured out what you want to do beyond high school? Maybe medical terms will be used in your future career(s). Have you taken a test to see what skills you are most interested in connecting to careers? Go to My Next Move and check out the three sections. You can search for a career you think fits your personality. You can go to “browse careers by industry” if you want to specifically look in certain industries. Careers that heavily use medical terminology are under the Careers in Health & Counseling at My Next Move. Once you take the easy 60 question test from Holland’s personality test, it explains which of the areas you are best suited for. 

Then you can explore all the career options in your top two highest-scoring interest areas(Careers sorted by Interests at My Next Move).  Have fun!


Bloom’s Taxonomy: create, explore, evaluate, generate, include, identify, list, observe, reflect, review, use, and write

Workforce Skills – list workforce skills related to this lesson

Critical thinking, materials evaluation, reading comprehension, science, writing, research

My Personal Journal

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