Skip to Main Content

We have a new app!

Take the Access library with you wherever you go—easy access to books, videos, images, podcasts, personalized features, and more.

Download the Access App here: iOS and Android. Learn more here!


As a healthcare professional, before you can begin reading or writing medical documentation in an acceptable manner, you must be familiar with the terminology commonly used in medical writing. Most medical terms have Greek- or Latin-based prefixes, suffixes, or roots. It is often easy to ascertain the meaning of a particular term if you know the commonly used prefixes, suffixes, and roots.

Teaching medical terminology and its prefixes, suffixes, and roots is outside the scope of this textbook. Some basic knowledge of medical terminology is assumed.

The worksheets below should serve as an appraisal of your knowledge of medical terminology. The terms used in these worksheets are encountered frequently by therapists and assistants. If you are unfamiliar with the terms and definitions used in these worksheets, we suggest that you review medical terminology before continuing in this textbook.

|Download (.pdf)|Print

term = prefix + root

Example: Scleroderma


term = root + suffix

Example: Osteoporosis


term = prefix + root + suffix

Example: Syndactylism1

Summary and Objective

Clinicians need a working knowledge of medical terminology in order to function in practice. Teaching medical terminology is outside of the scope of this textbook. After completing the exercises, you should be able to determine whether you need further review of medical terminology.


1. +
Gylys,  BA, and Masters,  RM: Medical Terminology: A Systems Approach, ed 5. F.A. Davis Company, Philadelphia, 2014.

Worksheet 1 Medical Terminology

PART I. Write the appropriate term for the definition.

|Download (.pdf)|Print
1. Building of bone ____________________
2. Abnormally high blood sugar ____________________
3. Beneath the skin ____________________
4. Inflammation of the gallbladder ____________________
5. A tumor or abnormal growth of tissue ____________________
6. Increased white blood cell count ____________________
7. Disease or damage to a nerve ____________________
8. Between the ribs ____________________
9. Front of the body ____________________ or
10. Fusion of a joint ____________________

PART II. Write the appropriate definition for the term listed.

  1. Oophorectomy ____________________________________________________


  2. Cardiomegaly ____________________________________________________


  3. Cachexia ____________________________________________________


  4. Chondromalacia ____________________________________________________


  5. Osteotomy ____________________________________________________


  6. Oncology ____________________________________________________


  7. Gastritis ____________________________________________________


  8. Endocrinology ____________________________________________________


  9. Phlebitis ____________________________________________________


  10. Hypotension ____________________________________________________


Worksheet 2 Medical Terminology

PART I. Write the appropriate term for the definition.

|Download (.pdf)|Print
1. The study of elderly persons ____________________
2. Inspection of joint with a scope ____________________
3. Disease of a muscle ____________________
4. Difficult or bad breathing ____________________
5. Lack of saliva or dry mouth ____________________
6. Nosebleed ____________________
7. Inflammation of the meninges ____________________
8. Rapid ...

Pop-up div Successfully Displayed

This div only appears when the trigger link is hovered over. Otherwise it is hidden from view.