A Medical Term Built from Word Parts
Let’s be honest, learning long medical terms such as esophagogastroduodenoscopy (e-sof-a-go-gas-tro-du-od-e-NOS-ko-pe) can be challenging.
Dividing a term such as this one into Greek and Latin word parts can be helpful in gaining competency of spelling and defining a term.
Dividing the term into word parts
esophag – word root for esophagus
gastr – word root for stomach
duoden – word root for duodenum
-scopy – suffix for visual examination
o – combining vowel used between word parts to ease pronunciation.
O is most often used as the combining vowel, so if you are stumped as to whether to use an o or a between esophag and gastr, go for the o.
Using the word parts to help with spelling
Write each word part
esophag gastr duoden scopy
Add combining vowels
esophag o gastr o duoden o scopy
Applying the definition of word parts to find the definition of the term
Begin with the meaning of the suffix –scopy, then move to the beginning of the term.
Visual examination of the esophagus, stomach and duodenum is the correct definition. It is an endoscopic diagnostic procedure performed with an endoscope.
At this time, you may be asking, “why not just speak medical language in plain English?” and that is a good question. My best answer is that using medical language lends itself to clear, concise, communication, plus one word can be used instead of eight as we see in the term esophagogastroduodenoscopy.
Consider learning other medical terms by dividing them into word parts, as we have done here.
Read other Spotlight on Words.
Check out Endoscopic Surgery.