How Well do You Know Medical Lingo?

By: Becky Stigall

5 Min Quiz

Image: Shutterstock

About This Quiz

Sure, you watch "Grey's Anatomy," but do you know what they are saying? See how well you know the meaning of these general medical terms by taking this quiz.

If the ER doctor says your upper arm has a laceration, what is he really saying?

A laceration is a tear. Lacerations are typically not neat tears, but rather they tend to be rough or jagged.

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If you have a lesion, what is wrong with you?

A lesion may refer to a wound or some sort of structural change. The word once referred to any type of hurt or pain.

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A weak spot in an artery is called what?

You can get an aneurysm in an artery, vein, or your heart. A ruptured aneurysm is often fatal.

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Which word means cancer-causing?

The word carcinogenic means cancer-causing. Tobacco and asbestos are carcinogenic substances.

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The inability to become pregnant is a _________ issue.

The reproductive system is responsible for reproduction organs in men and women. The word reproductive simply means "pertaining to reproduction."

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If you have a cold but you don't have any symptoms, a doctor might say you are what?

People who are carriers of diseases might be asymptomatic. Another term for asymptomatic is clinically silent.

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Someone who is in a coma is said to be what?

Someone who is comatose is said to be in a coma. Comas may be injury- or medically induced.

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What type of brain injury results from a blow to the head?

Concussions may include damage to the brain and/or spinal cord. Concussion stems from a Latin word that means "to shake."

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If you have a blood clot outside a blood vessel, what do you have?

A hematoma is a collection of clotted blood outside a blood vessel. A visible hematoma is commonly called a bruise.

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If a surgeon is ready to make an incision, what is she ready to do?

The word incision means cut. The word stems from the Latin incisionem, which means "cutting into."

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A malignant tumor on the skin is called what by a doctor?

Melanoma is a type of skin cancer. Exposure to ultraviolet light is a primary cause of melanoma.

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Which of the following is a type of severe headache?

A migraine headache may last up to three days. They are more common in women than in men.

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If something is poisonous, it is _____.

Something that is toxic can potentially cause damage. It stems from the Latin, toxicus.

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To a nurse, an open sore is called what?

Ulcers may occur on the skin or on mucus membrane, like the stomach. It is related to the Greek, helkos, which means "sore."

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A substance that counteracts the effects of a poison, would be called what?

The word "antidote" stems from a Greek word that means to give as a remedy. Antidotes are made by injecting toxins, then collecting the antibodies.

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What would a doctor give you for a bacterial infection?

Some natural substances have antibiotic properties. Modern antibiotics, like penicillin, kill and/or stop bacteria from growing.

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What substance might be used to kill germs?

Before antiseptics, many surgical patients died because surgeons did not know that germs caused infections. Common antiseptics include alcohol, iodine and hydrogen peroxide.

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Something that is harmless is what?

The word benign is also used to indicate that something is not malignant. The term is often used to describe cancer.

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Blood has to do what to form a clot?

The word "coagulate" means to thicken or congeal. Someone whose blood does not clot may have hemophilia.

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A recovery period is called what?

Convalescence typically refers to a long recovery period. The process is gradual rather than sudden.

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A medical examination might result in what?

A diagnosis is decision based on an examination. The word comes from a Greek word that means "to distinguish."

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Which word means outcome to a doctor?

The word prognosis means outcome or probable course. The word is often used to predict survival.

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When the symptoms of a disease disappear, the patient may be in _________.

The word remission means a period during which disease symptoms are no longer evident. The term is often used for someone who has cancer.

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If the ER doctor gives you a stitch, what has he given you?

The word suture means to join two edges together by sewing. Suture may be a verb, meaning the act of suturing, or a noun, referring to the suture itself.

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Treatment of a disease may be referred to as what?

Therapy may be designed to treat an illness, disorder or disease. It comes from the Greek word for healing.

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When a test result is beneficial, your doctor might say it is what?

Negative can actually be a good thing in medical terminology. Negative simply means normal.

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If your doctor can't find a cause for your symptoms, she might say the condition is what?

The word idiopathic means "of unknown cause." The word idiopathy refers to the disease itself.

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If you have a problem with your spine, your condition might be said to be ________.

The skeletal system includes the bones and joints. The word simply means "pertaining to the skeleton."

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If your doctor does a blood test for a disease and the disease is found, the results are said to be what?

Positive is typically not positive in the medical world. The word positive usually means abnormal.

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If you have a problem with a muscle, your issue is said to be what?

Muscular issues pertain to the muscles and tendons of the body. The word muscular simply means "relating to or dependent on the muscles."

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If you can't smell anything, you are having a _______ issue.

The word sensory means "pertaining to the senses." The senses include hearing, smell, taste, touch and sight.

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If you have a problem with your bladder, your issue is with your _______ system.

The urinary system includes the kidneys, bladder, urethra and ureters. The word refers to anything related to the production, storage and elimination of urine.

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The stomach is part of what system?

The gastrointestinal system includes the mouth, esophagus, stomach, intestines, pancreas, liver and gallbladder. The word refers to the stomach and intestines.

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The lungs are part of what bodily system?

The respiratory system includes the nose and lungs. The word respiratory means pertaining to respiration.

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The heart is part of what body system?

The cardiovascular system includes the heart, blood and blood vessels. The word cardiovascular simply means "pertaining to the heart and blood vessels."

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