Want to learn how to learn medical terminology? You’re in the right place. Medical terminology is intimidating, to say the least. With tons of words to remember and little time, what are you supposed to do? It can be tempting to just study and cram most of the time, but there are fun ways to learn medical terminology. Here are some tried and true tips you can use to learn and remember your terms without feeling bored or stressed out!
Learn roots, prefixes, and suffixes
An easy way to learn medical terminology is the learn the prefixes, suffixes, or roots! These are often in Latin or Greek. This is an interesting approach because you’ll learn a bit about these historic languages AND the structure of and definition of medical terms. The AAPC has an in-depth breakdown on how to do this, but one example is the term cardiology; the root cardi- means heart, and -ology, the suffix, means the study of.
Make a medical terminology game
This may sound like a lot of work, but it’s a piece of cake! Make a medical terminology bingo, jeopardy, or matching game by using an online template, colored flashcards, or any materials you have lying around the house. Gamification transforms learning, making it more engaging and exciting. Bonus points if you make this a study game night with your peers.
Use visual memory
Visual memory is powerful. When you see images and other visuals, your brain encodes that information into memory. To take it a step further, when you pair a word with an image, you’re more likely to remember it. It also helps if you hear the word or say it out loud as you visualize it. Pair your medical term with a diagram, photo, or visual memory to help you learn and remember it faster. Plus, If you doodle or create your own image, you can make it as silly and whacky as you want.
Often doesn’t mean every waking hour of every day. Quizzing can look like a daily quiz or every other day, but there shouldn’t be too large of a lapse in time. If you take shorter quizzes more frequently, you’ll learn the terminology faster. Break up your word bank of medical terms and create your own quiz or find a handy dandy app to do it for you–we recommend using Picmonic’s daily quiz feature for this!
Listen to these medical terminology songs
It’s okay if music isn’t your jam, but some jams online are really helpful in learning a few medical terms. Here are just a few we found on Youtube:
- Medical Terminology Rap
- Medical Terminology Suffixes Song
- Anatomical Planes and Directions
- Modern Major Medical Terminology Song
If you’re feeling creative, why not take a crack at making your own? You can use the tune of a popular song or your favorite song and create the lyrics to learn medical terminology.
Bonus resources to help you study medical terminology
Oxford Medical Dictionary: This app includes over 140 illustrations and diagrams and 12,000 entries covering medical terminology.
Med Term Scramble: Isn’t this one cool? It’s a medical terminology study app using scramble! With over 30 word lists to choose from, this app is available on Android and IOS devices.
Quizlet: You might have used Quizlet before. You can access flashcards created by other students or create your own digital set of flashcards with Quizlet to test yourself on medical terminology.
Picmonic: Picmonic’s visual learning platform is research-proven to help you remember more in less time. It covers 310+ medical terminology mnemonics, features daily quizzes with spaced repetition, has memorable visuals of fun and unique characters, and allows you to create your own mnemonics and playlists.