9 pieces of medical jargon you might not understand
11 March 2016
Patients have expressed a strong desire to see the medical jargon in correspondence between specialists and their GPs translated into plain English, a New Zealand study of 60 outpatients found.
The study at a New Zealand hospital found that patients had a much better understanding of their chronic disease management when discharge letters had medical jargon replaced with plain English.
Almost 80% of patients preferred the translated letter over the original, and 70% said this enhanced their perception of the doctor's professionalism.
Here are 9 examples of medical terms (“doctor speak”) with their translated plain-English equivalents. How many of the medical terms on the left do you understand?
Fast heart rate
Ischaemic heart disease
Coronary artery disease
High blood pressure
Paroxysmal nocturnal dyspnoea
Waking at night breathless
Breathless while lying down