Medical Terminology: A Word Association Approach

Medical Terminology: A Word Association Approach

If you have ever had trouble memorizing medical terms, this course (and word association approach) is for you. You'll learn medical terminology from an anatomical approach by looking at each root term, its origin, a combined form, and an example of non-medical everyday usage.
6 Weeks Access / 24 Course Hrs
  • Details
  • Syllabus
  • Requirements
  • Instructor
  • Reviews


The Medical Terminology – A Word Association Approach course will teach you to understand medical terminology as it pertains to each body system. Using graphics and study tips you will not only learn definitions and root terms, but also their application in the medical world. Learning blocks are used to condense information and to help isolate what you need to know verses what is nice to know, and you will be provided with fun and unusual facts to help you remember the medical terminology in unique ways. You will have opportunities to see how medical terminology is used in the real world through case study assignments and will be provided with flashcards to help you study. The knowledge gained in this course will help you take the next step in your medical career or education.

Enrollment Options:
6 Weeks Access Course Code: met
Start Dates*Nov 11 | Dec 09 | Jan 13 | Feb 10
*Choose start date in cart
$129.00 USD
3 Months Access Course Code: T8450
No Instructor, Start Anytime
$129.00 USD


Welcome to the first lesson of medical terminology! You'll begin the course by exploring root terms, which represent the main meaning of a combined medical term. A combined medical term consists of a root, a prefix, and/or a suffix. As you progress through each lesson of this course, you'll see that it proceeds by "body system," and the first lesson will go over root terms that are associated with the musculoskeletal system. Naturally, it will talk a lot about the muscles, bones, joints, and tendons of the body.

In this lesson, you'll learn a variety of terminology relating to the integumentary and digestive systems. The integumentary system includes the skin, connective tissues, and some loosely associated structures such as nails and teeth. When it discusses the digestive system, you'll learn medical terminology relating to the digestive tract from the mouth, to the pharynx, to the esophagus, and so on, all the way out to the exterior of the body.

This lesson will go over terminology related to the cardiovascular and respiratory systems. The cardiovascular system includes the heart, arteries, veins, and blood, while the respiratory system includes the lungs and assorted chest structures.

This lesson will focus on the urinary and reproductive systems. When you go over the urinary system, you'll learn terminology related to the kidneys, bladder, urine, and even some chemistry terms. When you go over the reproductive system, you'll learn root terms that refer to both male and female anatomical structures.

This lesson will finish up the discussion about root terms. You'll learn root terms that are associated with the neurosensory system, including nerves, the eyes, ears, brain, and spinal cord. You'll then begin doing something a little different—at the end of the lesson, you'll do a little review session to help you remember all of the root terms that you've learned up to this point.

In this lesson, you'll learn about prefixes and suffixes that are common in medicine and start with the letters A through H. Starting here, you won't be going through the word associations that you did in previous lessons. By now, you'll find that you can recognize many of these terms as they're used in normal, everyday language.

In this lesson, you'll continue to progress through the prefixes and suffixes commonly used in medical terminology. Your objective here will be to identify the common medical prefixes and suffixes that begin with the letters I through O.

In this lesson, you'll complete your tour through the alphabetical listings of the most common prefixes and suffixes used in medical terminology by focusing on prefixes and suffixes that begin with the letters P through Z. You'll find that there are many more terms that medical professionals use less often, and you'll even discover that sometimes a root that you already know is used as a prefix or suffix.

In previous lessons, you learned about common prefixes and suffixes. In this lesson, you'll study specific prefixes and suffixes that pertain to color. Color is used quite a bit in the medical field because it helps everyone to describe various signs and symptoms. In this lesson, you'll also go over medical abbreviations that are specific to the various occupations and titles of the medical industry. Your assignment in this lesson will change a little as your research becomes a bit more challenging.

The medical community uses an abundance of abbreviations. Some medical facilities don't allow them, but you should still learn the meanings of the most common abbreviations so you'll know them when you see them. For this lesson, you'll study the abbreviations that start with the letters A through R. Your assignment for this lesson will be a bit different—you're going to find words in a medical note that you can replace with the abbreviations that you learned in the lesson.

In this lesson, you'll finish your study of medical abbreviations as you explore the abbreviations that begin with letters S through Z. You'll also go over specific abbreviations that refer to hospital areas, laboratory tests, chemistries, and medical symbols. In this assignment, it's up to you to find the abbreviations that correctly relate to each sentence in a medical note.

Here in the final lesson, it's time to put everything you've learned together. You'll look at your roots, prefixes, and suffixes, and see how they create combined medical terms from body system to body system. You'll also learn some directional terms that are commonly used in medicine. You'll find that your assignment for this lesson provides you the opportunity to decipher a complete medical note.



Hardware Requirements:

  • This course can be taken on either a PC or Mac.

Software Requirements:

  • PC: Windows 8 or newer.
  • Mac: OS X Snow Leopard 10.6 or later.
  • Browser: The latest version of Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox are preferred. Microsoft Edge and Safari are also compatible.
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader. Click here to download the Acrobat Reader.
  • Software must be installed and fully operational before the course begins.


  • Email capabilities and access to a personal email account.


There are no prerequisites to take this course. No medical background is necessary.

Instructional Material Requirements:

The instructional materials required for this course are included in enrollment and will be available online.


Douglas Best is a trainer for Humana Military. He began working as a field medical instructor in the US Army in 1980. He has worked as a nurse in such areas as pediatrics, the emergency room, and the adult cardiac, surgical, newborn, and medical intensive care units. He is also a curriculum specialist and has developed workforce training programs including Medical Specialty Training for Displaced Workers, Certified Nursing Assistant in Spanish, and Medical Transcription for the University of Texas at Brownsville.


Great intro to medical terminology and abbreviations; very useful to someone interested in getting into healthcare field.

I am new to medical terminology, and really enjoyed this course. I was not sure how much I was retaining until the final exam. It is amazing how this all sunk in.

I'm in the medical profession and taking the class has helped me to understand what the doctors and nurses are writing in the charts. I would highly recommend this to anyone who is thinking of taking this course. Taking it on-line has helped me a lot because of my work schedule. I was able to print it up and take it with me to work so I can study during my breaks. Thanks for being the best teacher.

I really enjoyed the course. I found it most informative, interesting, and entertaining! Reading signs, wall charts, labels, and such at the hospital has been a practical review. Thanks so much for offering this course online.

I really enjoyed this class. The instructor made learning the terms fun and enjoyable. I would recommend this course to others. Thanks again!

I truly enjoyed the course. I have no experience in the medical field, but found it was so easy and it just made sense. Thank you.

Many, many thanks for helping to make a smooth beginning for a career change in the medical field that will enable me to be at home with my family!

The course has been so useful. You were correct, I'll never be able to watch those hospital shows in the same manner ever again.

The course was easy to comprehend, and it covered material that could help me in my job search.

This course was a lot of fun. It was also very helpful and I will reference back to the class when working in the medical field. Thanks for all your help!