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You should be getting pretty good at making sense of medical terminology. But, nothing beats practical application! Following is an abstract of a simulated patient’s medical record. Note words in italics. Take them apart. Look for the “root” meaning. Read the record and answer the questions that follow to yourself. If you can’t think of the meaning, hover your cursor over the word for a tip.

A 48 year old male complains of abdominal discomfort after meals, especially, high fat meals. At those times he also has aching in his right shoulder and back. An  ultrasound of the upper abdomen revealed cholelithiasis. A consult with a gastroenterologist determined that cholelithotripsy was considered but it was decided that a laparoscopic cholecystectomy would be the first procedure attempted. If complications were encountered then an open cholecystectomy would be performed.

Significant medical history: patient had a coronary angiography performed at age 46 following suspected myocardial infarct.

  • What is the diagnosis (the patient’s current medical problem)?
  • Did the procedure performed to aid in the diagnosis involve use of X-rays?
  • Was a specialist appropriate to the diagnosis consulted?
  • What treatments were considered?
  • What significant event was in the patient’s medical history?
  • What procedure was performed in the patient’s medical history?

In plain English

A 48-year-old male complains of abdominal discomfort after meals, especially, high fat meals. At those times he also has aching in his right shoulder and back. A procedure using high frequency sound waves to image the upper abdomen revealed stones in the gallbladder. A consult with a specialist in diseases of the digestive tract determined that crushing the gallbladder stones with sound waves was considered but it was decided that a removal of the gallbladder using a scope and instruments inserted into the abdominal wall would be the first procedure attempted. If complications were encountered then opening up the abdomen and removing the gallbladder would be performed.

Significant medical history: The patient had a heart attack. The patient’s heart arteries were imaged by injecting a dye opaque to X-rays into an artery to show area of blockage of blood flow to heart muscle.

Surprised at how much you understood? I’m not!

Before taking the quiz, you may want to check back to “Basics” and review the word stems for mouth, tongue, gums, stomach, small and large intestines and liver.

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