Introduction to medical terminology - Courses

Introduction to medical terminology

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How was this course rated?

  Rated by 165 users

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What level is this course?

Level 1 - introductory

How long will this course take?

Approximately 4 hours

What are the course aims?

This course aims to introduce the basic building blocks of medical terminology.

Is there a qualification awarded?


What is this course about?

Topic 1 - The basics

In topic 1, we explore the origins of medical terminology, and introduce medical root words, prefixes and suffixes and combining vowels.

Learning outcomes:

  • explore the origins of medical terms
  • identify common medical prefixes, root words and suffixes
  • identify combining vowels
Topic 2 - Medical prefixes

In topic 2, we identify the meanings of some common medical prefixes and look at groups of prefixes in more detail.

Learning outcomes:

  • identify and define medical prefixes
  • use your knowledge of medical prefixes to build and analyse terms
Topic 3 - Medical suffixes

Topic 3 explores medical suffixes used to indicate signs, symptoms, diseases, test, surgeries and medical professions and professionals.

Learning outcomes:

  • identify and define medical suffixes
  • use your knowledge of medical suffixes to build and analyse terms.
Topic 4 - Putting it all together

In topic 4 you use your knowledge of medical root words, prefixes and suffixes to build and analyse medical terms. We introduce some rules for creating plural words, explore eponymous terms and drug terminology and we give you some handy tips on mastering tricky medical spellings. We also introduce the huge range of medical abbreviations and acronyms - and the potential dangers they present.

Learning outcomes:

  • use your knowledge of root words, prefixes and suffixes to build and analyse medical terms
  • change singular terms into their plural forms
  • identify eponymous terms
  • identify directional terms
  • identify drug classes and routes of administration
  • develop a strategy for spelling tricky medical terms
  • explore commonly used medical abbreviations

Who should do this course?

This course is aimed at anyone wanting to learn the basics of medical terminology, including medical and nursing students; students studying for professions allied to medicine; those interested in a career as a medical secretary or transcriptionist; students whose first language is not English who are interested in studying medicine in an English-speaking country; and anyone who is interested in understanding more about the language of medicine.

What will I be expected to do?

The course is divided into four topics, and each topic takes about 1 hour to complete. The topics introduce you to the basics you need to understand and use medical terminology, and examples are used to illustrate the concepts covered. There are activities and quizzes throughout the topics to help you reinforce your learning and to let you practice identifying, analysing and building medical terms. There is a word list in the useful resources section containing all the terms covered in this course that you can download and print. The list has spaces for you to add other useful medical terms that you encounter.

Do I need any prior learning for this course?

No, you do not need any prior knowledge of medical terminology for this course.

How do I register?

Go to mondofacto courses to register for this course. To register, you will be asked to provide an email address and give some basic information about yourself, such as your name and your country of residence. Please rest assured that we take your privacy seriously and we will not pass your details on to any third party.

What materials are included?

This course contains online content and interactive quizzes and activities. There is a list of all the terms covered in the course for you to download, print out and add to.

What are the computing requirements?

You will need internet access and a computer. If you have purchased a new computer since 2002 it should meet your course computing requirements.

What support is available?

Academic support: this is a self-study course, so there is no academic support available.
Technical support: there are contact details for course queries and technical questions on the course homepage.

How will I assess my progress?

This course contains activities that will allow you test yourself and assess your progress.

What related courses are available?

Coming soon

How often does this course run?

This course runs continuously. You can join at any time.

How do I find out more?

If you have any questions we've not covered here, please contact us at

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