Whether you’re a current medicine or senior high school STEM student, you are going to need to learn medical terminologies. These terms are often learned by rote memorization and are crucial to pursuing careers in the health industry. Rather than making the learning of medical terms a chore, we’ve compiled a list of tips and tricks that can help you ace that exam and advance one step closer to your med school dreams!
Learn basic Latin components
By learning the Latin roots or components of medical terms, you are not only furthering your knowledge of a new language but also deepening your understanding of the term itself. For instance, the prefix “exo-” is Latin for “external”. When applied to the term “exoskeleton”, the prefix indicates that it is a skeleton that exists outside of the body. Learning a list of prefixes or suffixes that have Latin translations can help you practice critical thinking when trying to comprehend a list of terms.
Play around with Mnemonic devices like acronyms
What’s that? It’s a different way of retaining memory. You can understand a new word by transposing it to what you already know. It helps long term memory and makes you more likely to remember sequences, lists, and new languages. For example, people beginning music lessons use “Every Good Boy Does Fine” to remember each note on the G clef staff lines. Be creative! Put a twist on how you memorize things no matter how weird it sounds to you! You can have fun with friends coming up with the silliest names for things.
But if you’re not too keen on being creative, the Medical Mnemonics website, www.medicalmnemonics.com, has got a rich database of important terms to help you!
Draw it out or record your own voice
If you identify as a visual learner, try drawing out the medical term that you are trying to memorize. In doing so, you are cementing a specific image to associate with that term in your memory. Alternatively, if you are an auditory learner, try recording yourself saying the term and its definition in order to learn it effectively.
Flash some flashcards
To combat the inevitable boredom from those looong names, you can definitely gamify memorization! Flashcards work by having a term on one side and its definition on the other. Flip each side to check if you’ve gotten the term/definition correct. Flashcards can be made by hand using a piece of board paper or digitally through free apps like Quizlet. An advantage of writing down the terms physically is that you can decorate and add drawings to the terms.
Though this is more time consuming, physical flashcards could work to the advantage of visual learners. Meanwhile, digital flashcards are great for those who want their flashcards on their phones for easy access. Quizlet also allows its users to play games using the terms via matching type games.
Watch online lectures (for free!)
Virtually everything is on the internet. This means that practically every medical concept you are supposed to memorize has a lecture or explanation on it online. Use YouTube to deepen your knowledge of each concept in order to best memorize it—try this medical terminology video series by JJ Medicine for instance. Even if you go past its surface-level definition, you are likely getting more in-depth knowledge (for free!) that could help you in the future.
The amazing thing about being a student in this day and age is that so many resources are available online. Learning medical terminology is no longer restricted to rote memorization and can now be supplemented using materials like Quizlet and online lectures via YouTube—all one needs to do is have the initiative to look for it! With these tips and tricks, we hope that the journey to becoming any health professional is less daunting.
Find more articles about skill development through Edukasyon.ph, and check out our College Life blog section for more tips and advice that will help you succeed in your education-to-career journey.