Learning a new language can be a daunting task. In this resource, we offer a method for breaking down medical words that takes that daunting task and makes it manageable. What is required from you is a commitment to memorizing the word parts, learning the rules, and identifying the rebels. Once you meet that commitment we will show you how to apply the rules to the word parts you have memorized. As you memorize the language components of medical terminology it is important to support that learning with the context of anatomy and physiology.  Consider where in the body the medical term is referencing and then how it works within the body. This will build a medical terminology foundation that you can continue to grow in your future health-care courses.

How this open educational resource (OER) works.

The introductory anatomy and physiology content of this OER has been adapted from the OpenStax Anatomy and Physiology OER by Betts, et al., which is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Following OpenStax’s leadership and in the spirit of OPEN education we have licensed this OER with the same license.

This book was then adapted in 2021 from the eCampusOntario’s version of Building a Medical Terminology Foundation by K. Carter and M. Rutherford which is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The Lakeshore Technical College team modified this version of the textbook based on the Wisconsin Technical College System course competencies for Medical Terminology. We later added on faculty contributors from Gateway Technical College and Milwaukee Area Technical College as well as a librarian project manager from Western Technical College.

Students: this OER is different than many traditional medical terminology textbooks. The interactive content is built into each chapter. In this resource you will work through each body system that includes word parts, whole medical terms, and common abbreviations associated with that particular body system. At the end of each body system chapter is a vocabulary list of associated terms related to that body system. The interactive reinforcement activities require you to click, drag and drop, listen and repeat, flip, and test yourself.

Faculty and teaching staff: while this OER was curated and created for Medical Terminology students in a technical college system, our hope is that you will take this OER and customize it for your program and share again.

Let us know that you are using this textbook

Please respond to our quick textbook adoption survey to let us know that you are using this resource. Help us continue to make high-quality educational materials accessible by letting us know you’ve adopted! Our future grant funding is based on faculty adoptions and the number of students we impact.

Suggest a correction

Please respond to our suggest a correction survey to submit suggestions for improvements to the Medical Terminology textbook and ancillary materials. We appreciate your feedback.

Wisconsin Technical College System (WTCS) Project Team Timeline & Next Steps

A small cross-functional team consisting of faculty, librarians, and instructional designers from across the WTCS has been meeting since April 2020 to create a WTCS Medical Terminology course using open educational resources. The team adapted the textbook, created a printable student companion guide, and built a Canvas course shell with additional activities and assessments.

Here is the link to the Student Companion: OER Medical Terminology Student Companion

Here is a link to the Canvas Course Shell: Medical Terminology Canvas Course Shell

We have a small group of faculty that are piloting the resources in the Fall 2022 term. Their feedback will inform edits or revisions for the next edition of the book.

Book Citations

Medical Terminology Book Citation:

Grimm S., Allee, C., Belitz, H., Gotz, T., Randolph, M., Strachota, E., and Zielinski L. (2022). Medical Terminology. Wisconsin Technical College System.

Cover adapted from an image by mohamed hassan from PxHere, CC0.

Building a Medical Terminology Foundation Book Citation:

Carter K. & Rutherford M. (2020). Building a Medical Terminology Foundation. eCampusOntario.

Anatomy and Physiology Book Citation:

Betts, J.G., Young, K.A., Wise, J.A., Johson, E., Poe, B., Kruse, D. H., Korol, O., Johnson, J.E., Womble, M. & DeSaix, P. (2013). Anatomy and Physiology. OpenStax.



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Medical Terminology Copyright © 2022 by Stacey Grimm; Coleen Allee; Elaine Strachota; Laurie Zielinski; Traci Gotz; Micheal Randolph; and Heidi Belitz is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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