Teachers Guide


Medical Terminology for Entry Level Anatomy and Physiology Students


Time:  About 30 minutes


Goal:  After completing the worksheet, students should be able to examine a common medical term and decipher its meaning. 


Specific lists of roots, prefixes, and suffixes will vary between schools, institutions, and instructors. It is important to know that this activity is a very basic introduction to medical terminology, and our lists of terms are kept to a minimum.


Important:  this worksheet/assignment is best used during the first week of class.


After completing this module, a good class activity is to take a long medical term and have students try to determine its meaning.  For example, the following questions can be used for either an in-class activity or for questions on a quiz or exam.


Example questions

1.     Using what you know of medical terminology, which of the following best describes a transesophageal echocardiogram.

a.     written measurements of the heart taken via an instrument within the esophagus.

b.     pictures of the lungs taken by means of an instrument within the esophagus.

c.      using the heart beat to measure the size of the esophagus.

d.     moving a tube through the esophagus and into the heart.

e.     cutting out the heart and moving it into the esophagus.


2.     The term "herpo" is Greek for:

a.     itch

b.     infection

c.      creep along

d.     sex

e.     icky


3.     Modern medical terminology is derived from what two sources?

a.     roots and prefixes

b.     languages (English and Spanish) and geographic locations

c.      language (Latin and Greek) and personal  names

d.     prefixes and suffixes

4.     The suffix “-itis” means inflammation.  Which of the following terms means inflammation of the membrane lining the body cavity that contains the liver and stomach?

a.     pericarditis

b.     peritonitis

c.      colitis

d.     hepatitis