Thursday, January 3, 2013

MT-2: Where did the medical words come from?

Quick Links to Chapter 2: Basics Lessons
Where Did the Medical Words Come From?
Parts, Parts and More Parts
Useful Suffixes
Some Useful Prefixes
And Some Useful Combining Forms

Where did the medical words come from?

Medical terminology really began when people started to write about medical science. And for the Western Civilizations, the beginning of “medicine” was with the Greeks. Hippocrates was a Greek doctor (460-375 BC) and is called the "Father of Medicine". He was the first person to write that people got sick for scientific reasons. And he wrote about treating sick people. Today many promise to follow the Hippocratic Oath as doctors.

The Hippocratic Oath

I promise:
  • that I will be loyal to the profession of medicine and its members,
  • that I will lead my life and practice my profession honestly and with honor,
  • that where ever I go it will be for the good of the sick to the best of my ability and that I will stay away from evil and corruption,
  • that I will do my job solely for the benefit of my patients, the relief of suffering, the prevention of disease and promotion of health, and I will give no drug and perform no treatment for an immoral purpose
  • that in the treatment of the sick, I will consider their well-being to be of a greater importance than their ability to pay my services,
  • that what I may see or hear about the lives of patients which is not to be spoken of to others, I will keep silent,
  • that I will commit myself to a lifetime of continued learning of the art and science of medicine
  • these things I do promise and may happiness and good reputation be mine, but should I brake my promise, may the opposite happen.
Then came the Romans like Galen (129-217 AD), known as the “Father of Anatomy”. Because of men like these, knowledge of Western-based medicine was developed and taught using Greek and Latin, the language of the Romans. So, where English is spoken, healthcare professionals still use these terms based on the Greek and Latin began by physicians like Hippocrates and Galen.

In the Introduction, we said that a word root gives us a kind of basic idea of what something is. In medicine, many words naming and describing disease, conditions, diagnosis and treatment are based on Greek roots. And we use Latin roots in naming and describing structures of the body. That is why there are sometimes more than one word root to talk about something similar.

WordRoot with examples
skindermat [Greek]: dermatitis: skin inflammation
cutane [Latin]: cutaneous: pertaining to the skin
биржрүү, тууралт
kidneynephr [Greek]: nephroma: tumor of the kidney
ren [Latin]: renal: about the kidney
Note: Mongolian (and sometimes Russian) translations are provided to help the student learn faster but should not be depended on – better to learn the English-English meaning.

Word List:
  • Hippocrates: Father of (Western) Medicine, Greek {Гиппократ}
  • Hippocratic Oath: doctor promise to help and not hurt {Гиппократын тангараг}
  • physician: doctor of medicine {эмч}
  • disease: illness, often caused by infection {өвчин}
  • condition: an illness or a medical problem
  • diagnosis: identifying the exact cause of an illness {оношилгоо, диагностики}
  • treatment: something that is done to cure an illness or injury {эмчилгээ}
  • to pertain: belong or related to {хамаарах}
Pronunciation Practice:
= Hippocrates [Hip·poc·ra·tes]
= Hippocratic Oath
= physician [phy·si·cian]
= disease [dis·ease]
= condition [con·di·tion]
= diagnosis [di·ag·no·sis]
= treatment [treat·ment]
= pertain [per·tain]

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