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CityMD Medical Terms

Basic Medical Terminology from CityMD's medical staff training- HARD (9/17)

TermDefinition
Superior Situated above or higher than another part
Inferior Located beneath or directed downward
Distal Located far from a point of reference
Proximal Located nearer to a point of reference
Volar Relating to the palm of the hand or the sole of the foot
Palmar Pertaining to the palm of the hand
Dorsal Near the back or upper surface of the body
Ventral Close to the anterior or abdominal aspect or the lower surface of the body
Plantar Relating to the sole of the foot
Anterior Located near the front or on the ventral surface of the body
Posterior Located behind or on the dorsal surface of the body
Lateral Pertaining to or directed to a side
Medial Situated near the middle or on the median plane
Supine Lying on the back with the face and palms upward
Prone Lying flat with the face downward
Unilateral Affecting or confined to one side only
Bilateral Occurring on or involving both sides of a part
Superficial Existing or occurring on the surface or immediately beneath it
-itis Inflammation or disease of something specified
Dys- Abnormal, difficult or impaired
Hem- Pertaining to blood
Gastro- Pertaining to the stomach
-uria Presence of a specified substance in urine
-phagia Eating or swallowing
-algia Denoting pain in a specified part of the body
Poly- More than usual, excessive or abnormal amount
A- Abnormal absence or suppression
Tachy- Rapid, accelerated rate
Brady- Slow, decreased rate
Intra- Within or inside something
Inter- In between or among layers
Oto- Pertaining to the ear
Ophthalm- Pertaining to the eye
Chole- Indicating bile or gallbladder
Cyst- Bladder or sac
-ectomy Surgical removal of a specified part of the body
Adeno- Gland or glandular
-rhea Flow, discharge
Hypo- Below, beneath, underneath or less than normal
Hyper- Above, over or in excess
Acute Rapid onset followed by a short severe course
Chronic Developing slowly and of long duration with frequent recurrence
Localized Restricted, focal or limited to a specific part
Diffuse Widely dispersed, spread out, not limited, generalized
Intermittent Occurring occasionally or at regular or irregular intervals
Recurrent Occurring periodically or appearing repeatedly
Febrile Having a fever
Fever Abnormally high body temperature (oral temperature > 99.5 °F or ear temperature >100.4 °F)
Night Sweats Excessive sweating during sleep
Malaise Feeling of general discomfort or uneasiness
Fatigue State of physical or mental weakness or tiredness
Diaphoresis Excessive sweating
Myalgia Muscle pain or body ache
Inflammation Localized reaction of a tissue to irritation or injury, characterized by pain, redness and swelling
BMI Body mass index, ratio of weight to height used to determine a person’s nutritional level (underweight or obese)
SpO2 Saturation level of oxygen in blood, determined via pulse oximetry by placing a device on the finger
Influenza The Flu, caused by a virus typically transmitted through the air, characterized by fever, chills, body aches and URI (upper respiratory tract infection) symptoms
Viral Syndrome Viral illness with a combination of constitutional and respiratory symptoms
Cornea Transparent front part of the eye
Pupil Hole or aperture located in the center of the iris
Iris Circular, colored portion of the eye responsible for controlling the size of the pupil
Conjunctiva Thin layer covering the inside of the eyelids and the sclera (white portion of the eye)
Eyelid Thin fold of skin that covers and protects the eye
Sclera Opaque, white, fibrous, protective, outer layer of the eye
Retina Innermost light sensitive layer of the eye
Lens Transparent elastic curved structure behind the iris that helps in focusing light on the retina
Erythema Redness of the outer covering layer
Edema Abnormal fluid accumulation beneath the skin, leading to swelling
Ecchymosis Bruising or discoloration of the outer covering layer
Discharge Secretion of fluid from certain parts of the body
Injection Red discoloration of the eye
Photophobia Pain or discomfort in the eyes when looking at light
Conjunctivitis (Pink Eye) Inflammation or infection of the conjunctiva, characterized by redness and often discharge
Tympanic Membrane (TM) Eardrum
Auricle Pinna or outer projecting portion of the ear
Ear Canal Narrow, tube-like passage through which sound enters the ear
External Ear Outer portion of the ear, including the auricle and the canal
Eustachian Tube Auditory tube or a narrow channel connecting the middle ear and the nasopharynx
Nasal Septum Partition of bone and cartilage between the nasal cavities
Sinus Air-filled cavities in the bones of the forehead and face
Frontal Sinuses Pair of air-filled cavities in the frontal bone of the skull
Maxillary Sinuses Pair of air-filled cavities in the maxillary bone of the skull
Pharynx Area at the back of the mouth, extending from the nasal cavity to the larynx
Tonsils Two oval-shaped masses of lymphoid tissue at the back of the throat between the mouth and the pharynx
Uvula Small, conical, fleshy mass of tissue suspended from the center of the soft palate
Gingiva Gums, enveloping the teeth
Effusion Seepage of fluid into a body cavity or tissue
Exudate Fluid or pus that has seeped out of blood vessels, tissues or organs due to inflammation
Tonsillar Exudates White pus deposits on the tonsils
Bulging TM Occurs due to fluid collection in the middle ear cavity
Cerumen Earwax present in the ear canal
Post Nasal Drip Accumulation of excess mucous in the throat or the back of the nose, produced by the nasal mucosa
Tinnitus Ringing sound within the ear
Vertigo Type of dizziness involving the sensation of spinning around
Dysphagia Difficulty or inability to swallow (rare in an urgent care setup)
Odynophagia Pain or discomfort in swallowing, usually occurring due to throat infections
Otitis Media Inflammation of the middle ear due to infection
Otitis Externa (Swimmer’s Ear) Inflammation of the outer ear and ear canal due to infection
Otalgia Earache or pain in the ear
Otorrhea Discharge from the ear
Pharyngitis Inflammation of the throat due to viral or bacterial infections
Tonsillitis Infection, inflammation and swelling of the tonsils
Sinusitis Inflammation of the mucous membrane lining the sinuses due to infection
Rhinorrhea Runny nose or persistent watery mucus discharge from the nose
Congestion Narrowing of passages due to swollen membranes from inflamed blood vessels
Epistaxis Nosebleed or hemorrhage from the nose
Thorax Chest, part of the body between the neck and the abdomen
Cardiac Pertaining to the heart
Costal Pertaining to the ribs
Sternum Breastbone, long flat bone present in the middle of the anterior wall of the thorax
Vasculature Arrangement of blood vessels
Brachial Artery Major blood vessel of the upper arm
Radial Artery Main artery at the lateral part of the wrist proximal to the thumb, where a pulse is usually taken
Syncope Fainting or loss of consciousness resulting from insufficient blood flow to the brain
Palpitations Sensation of an abnormally fast heartbeat or with an irregular rate
Arrhythmia Abnormal or irregular heartbeat
Tachycardia Heart rate exceeding the normal range (resting heart rate >100 bpm)
Bradycardia Slow heart rate below the normal range (resting heart rate < 60 bpm)
Murmurs Pathologic audible heart sounds produced as a result of turbulent blood flow
Myocardial Infarction Heart attack or injury to the heart muscle due to improper blood flow to the heart
Atypical Chest Pain Chest pain that is sharp, sudden, random and short- lived
Atrial Fibrillation Abnormal rapid irregular heartbeat (like a drum with no rhythm)
Hypertension Long-standing high blood pressure, reading above 140/90 mm Hg, associated with a chronic underlying cause
Hypotension Long-standing low blood pressure, reading below 90/60 mm Hg
Hypercholesterolemia Higher than normal levels of cholesterol in the blood
Pulmonary Pertaining to the lungs
Larynx Voice box, air passage between the lower pharynx and the trachea containing the vocal chords
Trachea Windpipe, tubed airway extending from the larynx into the thorax eventually dividing into bronchi
Bronchi Two main branches of the trachea leading into the lungs
Alveoli Small air sacs or cavities in the lungs where the exchange of gases takes place
Sputum Phlegm, coughed up mass of salivary matter and mucus
Inspiration Inhalation of air into the lungs or to breathe in
Expiration Exhalation of air from the lungs or to breathe out
Wheeze Hoarse whistling sound produced with difficulty in breathing
Stridor Noisy breathing due to narrowed airways
Rhonchi Continuous coarse rattling snore-like sounds in the throat or bronchi, lower-pitched than a wheeze
Rales Crackles or coarse short discontinuous sounds heard during inhalation
Crepitus Crackling crunching sound produced due to presence or discharge of gas
Dyspnea - Shortness of breath or difficulty in breathing or air hunger
Hemoptysis Coughing up of blood or bloody sputum from the lungs or airway
Infiltrates Cells or body fluids that have passed into the lung tissue, suggestive of pneumonia or infection of the lungs
Pneumonia Infection of the lung primarily involving inflammation of the alveoli
Bronchitis Inflammation of the air passages including trachea and bronchi
Asthma Chronic inflammatory disease of the airways causing them to spasm and swell periodically, leading to narrowing of the passages and difficulty in breathing
Abdomen Belly or region of the body between the thorax and pelvis
Right Upper Quadrant (RUQ) Important for liver, gallbladder
Left Upper Quadrant (LUQ) Important for stomach, spleen, pancreas
Right Lower Quadrant (RLQ) Important for right ovary, appendix, right ureter
Left Lower Quadrant (LLQ) Important for left ovary, left ureter
Right Lumbar Region Middle right region important for right kidney
Left Lumbar Region Middle left region important for left kidney
Epigastric Region Top center region important for stomach
Esophagus Passage or tube extending from the pharynx to the stomach
Stomach Enlarged sac-like portion of the digestive tract between the esophagus and small intestine
Small Intestine Narrow proximal portion of the intestine extending from the stomach to the cecum
Large Intestine Wider distal portion of the intestine extending from the ileum to the anus
Appendix Accessory worm-shaped pouch attached to the cecum
Liver Largest gland of the body which secretes bile and is located in the upper right portion of the abdominal cavity
Gallbladder Small sac present on the posterior surface of the liver which serves as a reservoir for bile
Spleen Large lymphoid organ situated in the upper left part of the abdominal cavity which acts as a reservoir for blood cells
Pancreas Large elongated gland lying transversely behind the stomach whose secretions include insulin
Diarrhea Condition of having three or more loose or liquid bowel movements per day
Constipation Infrequent or difficult evacuation of feces
Distension State of being swollen or stretched
Emesis Vomiting, forcible ejection of contents of stomach through the mouth
Nausea Unpleasant sensation characterized by gastrointestinal distress and an urge to vomit
Bloating Abdominal distension due to swallowed air or intestinal gas
Organomegaly Visceromegaly or abnormal enlargement of an organ
Melena Passage of black tar-like stools containing digested blood, usually resulting from upper GI tract bleeding
Hematochezia Passage of bloody stools containing fresh blood, usually resulting from bleeding in the colon or rectum
Hematemesis Vomiting of bright red blood, indicating rapid upper GI bleeding
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) Heartburn, regurgitation of stomach contents containing acid into the esophagus
Guarding Involuntary or voluntary muscular contraction secondary to pain, detected during physical examination
Rebound Tenderness Pain or tenderness occurring upon the release of pressure over a part
Gastritis Inflammation of the lining of the stomach
Gastroenteritis Stomach flu or intestinal flu or inflammation due to infection or irritation of the GI tract, particularly the stomach and intestine, leading to vomiting and diarrhea
Appendicitis Inflammation of the appendix and is a medical emergency as it can lead to rupture of the appendix
Cholecystitis Inflammation of the gallbladder due to bacterial infection or the presence of gallstones
Kidneys Pair of organs located in the lower back area responsible for filtration of blood and secreting the waste material as urine
Ureters Tubes connecting the kidneys to the bladder for transmission of urine
Urinary Bladder Muscular sac in the anterior part of the pelvic cavity which serves as a reservoir for urine
Urethra Canal through which urine is discharged from the bladder to the exterior as well as semen in males
Dysuria Painful or difficult urination
Hematuria Blood in the urine
Urinary Frequency Urination at short intervals or having to urinate frequently
Urinary Urgency Sudden almost incontrollable need to urinate
Urinary Incontinence Inability to control urination leading to leakage of urine
Urinary Retention Accumulation of urine in the bladder due to inability to urinate
Flank/CVA Tenderness Pain elicited by tapping on each side of the mid-back area overlying the kidney
Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) Infection of one or more structures in the urinary system, more common in females than in males
Pyelonephritis Inflammation or infection of the kidneys and upper urinary tract usually resulting from bacterial infection of the bladder
Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD) Venereal diseases or illnesses that get transmitted through vaginal/anal/oral sex, shared IV needles, or blood transfusions
Examples: gonorrhea, chlamydia, syphilis, candidiasis, hepatitis-B, hepatitis-C, herpes, HIV, HPV and trichomoniasis
Cranium Skull
Maxilla Upper jaw
Mandible Lower jaw
Sternum Breastbone
Humerus Upper arm bone
Radius Lateral bone of the forearm, on the same side as the thumb
Ulna Medial bone of the forearm, on the same side as the little finger
Carpals Wrist bones
Metacarpals Bones of the hands and knuckles
Phalanges Bones of the fingers and toes
Pelvic Bone Hip bone Femur
Patella Kneecap
Tibia Shinbone, shankbone, medial bone of lower leg
Fibula Calfbone, lateral bone of the lower leg
Medial Malleolus Inside part of the ankle
Lateral Malleolus Outside part of the ankle
Metatarsals Bones of the feet
Cervical The first seven segments of the vertebral column
Thoracic The twelve vertebrae composing the middle segment of the vertebral column
Lumbar The five largest segments of the vertebral column in the lower back
Sacrum Large triangular bone at the base of the spine
Coccyx Tailbone or small triangular bone at the end of the spine
Ligament Band or sheet of tough fibrous tissue connecting two or more bones, cartilages or other structures to provide support
Tendon Fibrous tough cord of connective tissue attaching a muscle to a bone or cartilage
Achilles Tendon Large tendon at the back of the heel
Flexion Joint movement that decreases the angle between the bones
Extension Joint movement that increases the angle between the bones
Adduction Movement which brings a limb closer to the body
Abduction Movement which draws a limb away from the body
Inversion Movement where the foot is tilted inwards
Eversion Movement where the foot is tilted outwards
Contusion Bruise, injury to a body part without a break in the skin
Sprain Twisting joint injury when it is carried beyond its normal range of motion without fracture or dislocation
Strain Overstretching or overexertion of a muscle
Fracture Break, rupture or crack in a bone or cartilage
Dislocation Displacement of a bone from its normal position at a joint
Tenderness Pain, discomfort or soreness to touch or pressure
Axilla Armpit or underarm
Sciatica Pain and tenderness in the lower back and along the back of the thigh caused by compression or irritation of a sciatic nerve root
Laceration Tear or cut of the skin
Lesion Injury, wound or localized pathological change in a body part
Abrasion Scraped skin due to friction
Excoriation Superficial tear of the skin
Wound Physical injury causing a cut or broken skin
Burn Injury to tissues caused by contact with heat, flame, chemicals or electricity
Pruritis Itching of skin
Rash Spotted pink or red skin eruption may be accompanied by itching
Urticaria Hives or appearance of slightly raised erythematous (red) patches with severe itching
Allergy Abnormal body reaction to a specific substance, typically leading to a rash or swelling
Papules Firm bumps on the skin with no visible fluid
Jaundice Yellow discoloration of the skin and sclera due to increased level of bile pigments in the blood resulting from liver disease
Macules Flat discolored spots on the skin surface
Vesicles Small blisters or elevations on the skin containing fluid
Abscess Pus pocket or enclosed collection of pus in any tissue of the body in response to infection or presence of foreign material
Pus Thick yellowish-white or greenish-yellow fluid made up of dead cells and tissue, formed due to infection
Cyst Abnormal closed sac in the body or under the skin containing fluid
PPD Purified protein derivative, used in tuberculin skin sensitivity screening test for tuberculosis
Dermatitis Inflammation of the skin usually characterized by an itchy pink or red rash
Shingles (Herpes Zoster) Viral infection causing a painful rash occurring usually on the face or as a single stripe or belt of blisters wrapping around either side of the torso
Cellulitis Bacterial infection with inflammation, just beneath the skin surface
Paronychia Inflammation or infection involving the folds of skin tissue surrounding a nail
Subungual Hematoma Collection of blood beneath a nail usually resulting from trauma
Sciatic Nerve Largest nerve of the body supplying the skin of the leg and muscles of the back of thigh and those of the leg and foot
Paresthesia Altered skin sensation described as numbness, burning, tingling, pins and needles, etc
Paresis Partial or incomplete paralysis
Dizziness Sensation of unsteadiness, lightheadedness, faintness or whirling
Anaphylaxis Rapidly progressing life-threatening allergic reaction
Anemia Decreased level of blood or hemoglobin in the body
Lymphadenopathy Abnormal enlargement of lymph nodes usually due to infection or disease
Hypothyroidism Underactive thyroid or low production or secretion of hormones by the thyroid gland
Hyperthyroidism Overactive thyroid or excess production of hormones by the thyroid gland
Diabetes Mellitus Insufficient production of insulin by the pancreas leading to a high glucose (sugar) level in the body
Type-I Diabetes/Juvenile Diabetes Failure of the body to produce sufficient insulin or insulin-dependent diabetes
Type-II Diabetes/Adult-Onset Diabetes Failure of body cells to respond to insulin properly or develop resistance or non-insulin-dependent diabetes
Dose Specified quantity of medication to be administered at one time
Route Path by which a substance is taken into the body
PO Orally or by mouth
IV Intravenous or into a vein
IM Intramuscular or within a muscle
SC Subcutaneous or directly underneath the skin
ID Intradermal or into the inner layer of skin
PR By rectum
PV By vagina
SL Sublingual or beneath the tongue
Ophthalm Ophthalmic or on the external eye
Otic By way of the ear
Nasal By way of the nose
Inhalational Within the respiratory tract by inhaling orally or nasally
Topical On the outer surface of the skin
Frequency Number of occurrences of a periodic process in a unit of time
QD Take medication every day
OD Take medication once daily
BID Take medication twice a day
TID Take medication 3 times a day
QID Take medication 4 times a day
QW Take medication once a week
BIW Take medication twice a week
TIW Take medication three times a week
QHS Take medication at bedtime
QAM Take medication in the morning
QPM Take medication at night
Q#H Take medication every # hours
Q#1 - #2 Take medication every #1 to #2 hours
PRN Take medication as needed