In 1971, I received my first course load as a new health science faculty member at GateWay Community College in Phoenix, Arizona.
“A two-credit medical terminology course is part of your teaching load for the fall semester. Have you had experience teaching medical terminology?”
I didn’t. I was surprised there was a course on medical terms. I couldn’t recall how I’d learned them.
“You will use ‘The Elements of Scientific and Specialized Terminology’ by Brunner and Berkowitz. The course description and outline are already developed. Good luck.”
As I improvised my way through the first semester, I realized many medical terms were built from Greek and Latin word parts. Once students translated their meanings and how they fit together, they no longer needed to memorize “esophagogastroduodenoscopy.”
Conquering the language of medicine became manageable, and students loved it.
Although Brunner and Berkowitz covered terms built from word parts, they left out terms originating from eponyms (Alzheimer disease), acronyms (MRSA), and modern language (magnetic resonance imaging). I needed a better textbook more suited to my teaching methods and I couldn’t find one in print.
Not long after, a textbook representative from Mosby medical publishing company dropped by the faculty office that I shared with my teaching partner, Winnie Starr.
“Are you interested in writing a textbook?” he asked.
We already had the outline.
Exploring Medical Language was first published in 1985 and is now in its 10th edition. It divides medical terms into two categories and teaching methods. Terms built from word parts have analyzing, defining, and word building exercises and terms not built from word parts have recall exercises.
The unique learning style has stood the test of time and still stands apart from other texts.
In 1994, my daughter Danielle LaFleur Brooks and I wrote a companion textbook, Basic Medical Language, now going into its 6th edition. It uses the same learning style for beginners.
Now through social media and this blog, I connect daily with healthcare professionals, patients, students, faculty, and anyone interested in discussing, learning, and sharing the fascinating world of medical language.
Welcome to MedicalTerminologyBlog.com.