1. Health
Send to a Friend via Email

Med-Speak / Patient Empowerment Glossary

An empowered patient knows the importance of understanding med-speak - the terms providers use to explain a treatment, diagnosis, or other piece of medical information, or unfamiliar terminology used to describe your journey through the healthcare system. Knowing how to use these terms will help you navigate the system better, and improve your communication with your health providers.

acute and subacute
definition of the words acute and subacute

adjuvant therapy
The definition of adjuvant therapy.

ADR - what does the acronym ADR stand for?
The definition of the acronym ADR

ADR - what does ADR stand for?
The definition of the acronym ADR

allopathic medicine
definition of allopathic medicine

alternative medicine
the definition of alternative medicine

What is the definition of ambulatory?
The definition and use of the word "ambulatory".

apomediation - the definition of apomediation
apomediation - the definition of apomediation, apomediate, apomediary or apomediator

autoimmune and autoimmune response
definition and description of autoimmune and the auto immune response

balance billing
The definition of balance billing when used in a medical billing context

Biobanks - What is biobanking?
Learn more about biobanks and the practice of biobanking human specimens.

Biologics or Biological Agents
What are biologics and how are they used for medical treatment?

black box warning (from the FDA)
Definition of black box warning

CAM - Complementary and Alternative Medicine
The definition of CAM, the acronym for complementary and alternative medicine

Capitation - the Definition of Capitation
The definition of the term "capitation" when used in healthcare

Catastrophic Health Insurance or Catastrophic Health Plan
The definition of catastrophic health insurance

What is a catheter, and What is catheterization?
description of a catheter and catheterization used in a medical setting

Chemotherapy is a type of drug treatment. Learn the full definition of chemotherapy.

definition of the word chronic

clinical - definition of clinical
definition of clinical

What Is Health Insurance Coinsurance?
what is a health insurance coinsurance?

comorbid, comorbidity
definition of the word comorbidity or comorbid

complementary medicine
the definition of complementary medicine

compromised immune system or supressed immunity
What is a compromised immune system?

Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA)
The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA)

What Is a Health Insurance Co-Pay or Copayment?
what is an insurance co-pay or copayment?


covered entities - what is a HIPAA covered entity
The HIPAA definition of covered entities

the definition of cryptogenic when used as a medical term

curative care
Definition of curative care.

cyberchondria, cyberchondriac

DABDA - An Acronym That Describes Grief
An explanation for the acronym DABDA.

Darwin's Theory of Evolution
How Charles Darwin's Theory of Evolution and Natural Selection affect our healthcare.

What does debride or debridement mean?
definition of the words debride, or debridement

What Is a Health Insurance Deductible?
what is a health insurance deductible?

defensive medicine
the definition of defensive medicine

definition of diagnosis

differential diagnosis
definition of differential diagnosis

disease management
definition of disease management

drug class, drug classification, class of drugs
What is a class of drugs?

emPatient or e-patient
What is an emPatient or an e-Patient?

EMTALA, The Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act
EMTALA, the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act

epidemic or pandemic - what is the difference between epidemic and pandemic?
What is the difference between a pandemic and an epidemic?

epidemiology - what is an epidemiologist's role?
Definition of epidemiology and an epidemiologist


FMLA - The Family Medical Leave Act
FMLA - The Family Medical Leave Act

definition of formulary

Frequent Flyer - What Is a (Healthcare) Frequent Flyer?
What do medical professionals mean by "frequent flyer"?

generic drugs (vs. branded or innovator drugs)
A generic drug is bioequivalent to a branded, or innovator, drug.

What is the definition of a gossypiboma or textiloma?
the definition of the noun, gossypiboma or textiloma

Health on the Net Foundation (HON)
Description of HON, the Health on the Net Foundation

healthcare rationing
A description of rationing of health care or medical care

herd immunity - What is herd immunity?
the definition of herd immunity

HIPAA is the acronym for the Health Information Portability and Accountability Act of the US Federal Government

homeopathy, homeopathic
Definition of Homeopathy, Homeopathic

Iatrogenic - What Is the Definition of Iatrogenic?
What is the definition of iatrogenic?

definition of idiopathic

definition of incidentaloma
definition of incidentaloma

indolent - definition of the word indolent
definition of the word "indolent"

the definition of immunocompromised

What is the definition of inpatient?
The definition and use of the word "inpatient".

integrative medicine
The definition of integrative medicine

laparoscopic or laparoscopy - the definition of laparoscopic …
The definition of laparoscopic or laparoscopy, often used to describe surgery.

Levels of Medical Care: Primary, Secondary, Tertiary and Quaternary Care
Sometimes we hear medical professionals or our insurers talk about "levels of care," so knowing their definitions can be useful. Learn more about primary, secondary, tertiary and quaternary care.

Locum or Locum Tenens Provider
Here is the definition of a locum tenens provider and what patients need to know about working with one.

Medicine 2.0 and Health 2.0
Definitions or descriptions of both Medicine 2.0 and Health 2.0

metastasize, metastasis, metastasized

What Is a Mid-Level Provider or Practitioner?
What is a mid-level provider or practitioner?

never events
The National Quality Forum has listed "never events" to help quantify patient safety.

nocebo or nocebo effect
the definition of nocebo

lifestyle drug - the definition of a lifestyle drug
the definition of a lifestyle drug, and some examples of lifestyle drugs and medicines

nosocomial infections - what are nosocomial infections?
The definition of a nosocomial infections

obecalp or cebocap
obecalp or cebocap

off label
Definition of off label.

orphan diseases - the definition of orphan diseases
a definition and description of orphan diseases

What is the definition of outpatient?
The definition and use of the word "outpatient".

orphan drug
definition of orphan drug


palliative care
Definition of palliative care.

Pandemic - the definition of Pandemic
pandemic, pandemic flu, pandemic disease

pedigree or electronic pedigree (as they apply to the pharmceutical industry)
definition of pedigree as it applies to the pharmaceutical industry, as determined by the FDA

Definition of "peer-reviewed."

physician extenders
Physician extenders are a new category of healthcare providers.

definition of placebo

polypharmacy - the definition of polypharmacy
What is the definition of polypharmacy?

The definition of prognosis

prophylactic treatment or care
definition of prophylactic care

Learn the definition of quack as used in medicine.

Qualified Health Plans - QHP
what is the definition of a qualified health plan?

the definition of reimbursement in a healthcare context

rescission - health insurance term
definition of "rescission" in a health insurance policy context

sepsis and septicemia
the definitions and descriptions of sepsis and septicemia

somatoform disorders
definition of somatoform disorders and conversion disorders

standard of care
definition of standard of care

step therapy or step protocol
the definition of step therapy or step protocol when used with pharmaceutical drugs

telemedicine - the definition of telemedicine
The definition of telemedicine

definition of therapeutic

Titration or titrated - The definition of titration or titrated
The definition and usage examples for the term "titrate" or "titrated" or "titration" when used in a medical sense.

transparency (health or medical care related)
the definition of transparency when used in a medical or healthcare framework

trashcan diagnosis
definition of "trashcan diagnosis"

Triage: Definition of Medical Triage and How It Works
The definition of triage, how medical triage works, the role of EMTs and nurses in triage.

Profiles of OPTN and UNOS - Organ Donation Organizations in the United States
The OPTN and UNOS - two organizations in the United States that oversee organ donation and transplants, who receives them, and how priorities are determined.

upcoding - what is the definition of upcoding?
What is upcoding? What is the definition of upcoding?

Woo or "Woo woo"
Definition of "Woo" or "Woo Woo"

neoplasm - the definition of a neoplasm
What is a neoplasm?

phlegmon or phlegmonous
what is a phlegmon, or what does it mean if something is phlegmonous?

watchful waiting - what your doctor means by watchful waiting
Watchful waiting may be recommended by your doctor if there is a possibility you won't need treatment at a point in the future. Learn about the conditions under which watchful waiting may be recommended, and what empowered patients do if it is.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.

We comply with the HONcode standard
for trustworthy health
information: verify here.