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Medical Terminology Course and Class Overviews

Medical terminology courses introduce students to the vocabulary used by medical professionals, such as doctors, nurses and medical technologists. This article summarizes the most common medical terminology courses and classes.

Essential Information

Medical terminology courses are usually part of certificate or associate's degree programs in medical assisting. Alternatively, medical terminology is offered as a first-year course in several other health-related degree and certificate programs. In addition to medical terminology, students commonly complete medical transcription, human anatomy and pharmacology courses. Some of the most common subjects in medical terminology classes are as follows:

  • Drug classification
  • Grammar
  • Bodily systems
  • Word suffixes
  • Office procedures

List of Courses

Medical Terminology Course

This course explores the root words, suffixes and prefixes of the vocabulary used in medical offices, hospitals and other health settings. Students review the nervous, skeletal, cardiovascular, muscle and other major systems of the human body, and they discuss terms related to physiology, anatomy and pathological conditions. Students learn to spell, define and pronounce common medical terms.

Medical Transcription Course

This course teaches students how to transcribe medical reports. Students use their understanding of medical terminology to listen, transcribe and proofread reports from doctors regarding inpatients and outpatients. The proper use of grammar, punctuation, capitalization and spelling is discussed. Other topics examined include accuracy, formatting and efficiency.

Human Anatomy and Physiology Course

In this class, students are introduced to the function and structure of the human body. This course examines the anatomy of organ systems, including the circulatory, muscular, digestive and reproductive systems. Students learn the most common diseases and their effect on anatomy and physiology. Advanced courses discuss human body homeostasis and the physiology of fluids, vitamins, acid balance and electrolytes.

Pharmacology Course

This course explores the interaction between medication and the human body. Students learn about the classification of drugs and the federal laws that govern their approval and distribution. Students learn how to calculate and administer medicines. They also learn how to identify the presence of important drugs in the body, and to recognize the signs of drug poisoning.

Medical Office Course

Students learn about the day-to-day operations of a medical office. This course reviews the administrative skills needed, which include scheduling appointments, filing medical records, conducting patient orientations and ensuring staff and patient safety. Students also learn how to process insurance claims, maintain equipment and supplies, and supervise personnel.

Medical Law and Ethics Course

This cover reviews the legal aspects of the doctor-patient relationship, including informed consent, professional liability, contracts, malpractice and other issues. Students discuss the ethics involved in working in a medical setting. Legal terminology and bioethical issues are also examined in this course.


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