4 Best Books For Medical Terminology

4 Best Books for Medical Terminology

Last Updated on November 16, 2020

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Starting from the tiniest cell to the most complex organ systems, medicine is a field so vast that it is naturally hard to navigate. The field is intimidating for it has developed its own jargons within the medical community, which may cause an alienating feeling to outsiders and even beginners. Luckily, this is not an overlooked problem; throughout the years, hundreds of books have been written to compile medical terminology and eventually help ease the accessibility of the medical field. In the sea of these published books, we have compiled the four best books that are recommended by students and even experts themselves.


1. Medical Terminology: The Best and Most Effective Way to Memorize, Pronounce and Understand Medical Terms (by David Andersson)

Readers are usually daunted at the sight of medical books: they are usually bulky, and you are guaranteed to be greeted by an overload of information as soon as you open it. With the expert help of M. Mastenbjork M.D. and S. Meloni M.D., this book has been curated to focus primarily on its appeal and readability. Reading a book that is designed to allow you to study smoothly will help you understand and grasp medical terminologies easier. The book also stresses the important parts of words – its prefixes, suffixes and root words – creating an easier method to memorize each term. Each chapter contains a set of multiple-choice questions that can quiz you about what you have learned – this is especially beneficial for students seeking a career in the medical field.

  • Review: The size of the book makes it easy for readers to carry it around with them easily. Words are broken down to their simplest forms by dissecting its prefixes and suffixes which is fundamental to learning a new word. It is a concise and well-organized book that is best recommended for beginners and students. For advance readers, however, the back index may seem insufficient. The lack of illustrations can make some definitions seem vague.
  • Author: David Andersson, M. Mastenbjork M.D. & S. Meloni M.D.
  • Pages: 182 pages
  • Publisher: Independently published

2. Medical Terminology: A Living Language (by Bonnie F. Fremgen and Suzanne S. Frucht)

Knowing your medical terms will be useless if you are unable to apply it into real-world contexts. Fremgen and Frucht worked together to bring a book that focuses on the understanding and application of medical terminology. With the help of fundamentals from Anatomy & Physiology, the book teaches readers how to utilize word parts (prefixes and suffixes) to build their own medical terms. To quiz readers, the book contains practice problems focusing on spelling, adjective formation and callbacks to anatomy and physiology.

  • Review: The book is easy to understand for beginners and requires no prior knowledge to anatomy and physiology since the book touches on these subjects as well. Its focus on real-world application is repeatedly applauded, as well as its continuous explanation of medical terms into lay-man’s. Some parts of the books are deemed unnecessary by some readers, as it only adds to the width of an already bulky book.
  • Author: Bonnie F. Fremgen, a former Associate Dean of the Allied Health Program at Robert Morris College and Suzanne S. Frucht, an Associate Professor Emeritus of Anatomy and Physiology at Northwest Missouri State University.
  • Pages: 640 pages
  • Publisher: Pearson

3. Medical Terminology for Dummies (by Beverly Henderson and Jennifer L. Dorsey)

For Dummies” books are usually used to introduce yourself to a field that is unfamiliar to you, but Medical Terminology for Dummies promises to cater not only to aspiring healthcare professionals but to current workers as well. The book advices readers different techniques to learn extensive medical terminologies such as utilizing flash cards or even playing games. These techniques will help you how to identify, define, pronounce and apply words in different contexts. It makes sure to educate readers on the different rules of how medical language works, the jargon used in the medical field and most importantly, the anatomical terms used to pertain to specific parts of the body. It also provides tips and tricks for medical students on how to survive medical school.

  • Review: The book is masterful in explaining the terminologies well and clearly. The techniques they teach in learning, when utilized, is extremely helpful and adds to the experience of reading it. Readers should be warned that the book is not colorized, and like most medical books, it is bulky in size.
  • Author: Beverly Henderson, CMT-R, HRT and Jennifer L. Dorsey, PhD. Both women have 40 and 20 years of experience writing and understanding medical terminologies.
  • Pages: 416 pages
  • Publisher: For Dummies

4. Medical Terminology: A Short Course (by Davi-Ellen Chabner, BA MAT)

Applying her own effective learning method, Davi-Ellen Chabner has created a book that ensures time is efficiently utilized when it comes to studying medical terminologies; this is accomplished by removing nonessential information and leaving the medical terms that are of utmost priority. Chabner relies on the context of basic anatomy and physiology for readers to understand the exact meaning of a word. Her learning method makes sure to write and interact with medical terminologies on almost every page, ensuring that readers will understand the content by doing work related to it. There are several learning-related activities throughout the book such as First-Person narratives, Picture Show and Principal Diagnosis.

  • Review: Thanks to Davi-Ellen Chabner’s learning method, the book is extremely easy to read and utilizes understandable language. Its self-teaching approach makes sure that the reader is immersed with the content enough to learn it.  Full-color images are also used to illustrate anatomical lessons. The book is only meant to be a basic overview of medical terminologies, so it is not advisable so rely on this heavily. Terms are also subjected to repetition for readers to retain it – some may find this effective while some may find this annoying. 
  • Author: Davi-Ellen Chabner
  • Pages: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Saunders

It is important to note that a single book cannot provide a strong foothold on the understanding of medicine – it is always recommended to read several books that complement each other. With this, it is also important to do your research when it comes to committing to a learning material especially since medicine itself is stemmed from years of extensive research.

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