Medical Terminology Essentials: Anatomy, Physiology, Abbreviations, Prefixes, and Suffixes Quiz

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What does the medical prefix 'Ad-' indicate?

towards, near

Explain the meaning of the medical suffix '-ostomy'.

creation of opening on body surface for discharge

What does the abbreviation 'TSH' stand for in the medical field?

Thyroid Stimulating Hormone

Provide an example of a medical term with the suffix '-itis' and explain its meaning.

appendicitis = inflammation of appendix

What does the prefix 'An-' signify in medical terminology?


Explain the significance of the root word 'cardi-' in medical terminology.

It pertains to the heart.

Discuss the implications of the root 'derm-' in medical terms.

It relates to the skin.

Elaborate on the role of 'neur-' in neurological terminology.

It signifies nerves or the nervous system.

Examine the importance of 'pulm-' in respiratory medicine.

It is related to the lungs.

Explore the significance of 'hemat-' in hematological contexts.

It is derived from the Greek word for blood.

Study Notes

Medical Terminology: An Insight into Anatomy, Physiology, Prefixes, Suffixes, and Abbreviations

Medical terminology plays a crucial role in the healthcare industry, enabling efficient communication between healthcare professionals and patients. This article explores key aspects of medical terminology, encompassing anatomy, physiology, common medical abbreviations, prefixes, and suffixes.


Anatomy refers to the study of the structure of organisms. In medical terminology, anatomical structures are labeled based on their function, location, and shape. For instance, the word "hepatic" denotes anything related to the liver, and "renal" relates to the kidney. Knowledge of anatomy is essential for understanding diseases, diagnosing conditions, and planning treatments.


Physiology is the study of how living organisms function. In medical terminology, physiological processes are often described using Greek and Latin roots. For example, "cardiac" relates to the heart, while "respiratory" refers to respiration or breathing. Understanding physiology helps doctors understand and treat diseases that affect these processes.

Common Medical Abbreviations

Medical abbreviations can save time and increase efficiency in healthcare communication. Some common examples include:

  • TSH: Thyroid Stimulating Hormone
  • RAI: Radioactive Iodine
  • CBC: Complete Blood Count
  • ECG: Electrocardiogram
  • MRI: Magnetic Resonance Imaging

These abbreviations allow for quick and concise communication among healthcare professionals.

Medical Prefixes

Prefixes modify the meaning of words in medical terms. Some common prefixes include:

  • A-: not (asymptomatic)
  • Ad-: towards, near (adipose tissue = fatty tissue)
  • An-: without (anemia = lack of blood)
  • Anti-: against, opposite to (antibody = substance produced by an immune response)
  • Arteri-: pertaining to arteries (arteritis = inflammation of arteries).

Medical Suffixes

Suffixes also alter the meaning of words. Examples include:

  • -oma: tumor (neuroblastoma = cancerous growth of nerve cells)
  • -itis: inflammation (appendicitis = inflammation of appendix)
  • -ostomy: creation of opening on body surface for discharge (colostomy = procedure creating opening in colon).

In conclusion, mastering medical terminology is essential for understanding and navigating the complex field of medicine. By familiarizing oneself with key concepts such as anatomy, physiology, abbreviations, prefixes, and suffixes, individuals can better communicate with healthcare professionals and make informed decisions about their health.

Test your knowledge of essential medical terminology components including anatomy, physiology, common medical abbreviations, prefixes, and suffixes. Explore key concepts that play a vital role in effective healthcare communication and understanding of medical conditions.

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