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Health Information Technology (HIT) Resources: Medical Terminology

Wisconsin Technical College System Collaboration - OER Free Textbooks

A Wisconsin Technical College System (WTCS) workgroup, part of the WTCS OER Network, has developed a free open textbook for Medical Terminology with a printable student companion and Canvas course shell. This textbook has the potential to impact an estimated 8,600+ WTCS college students and 3,300+ dual credit students annually for a collective savings of $895,000 each year!

Medical Terminology Textbook

Medical Terminology Textbook

The textbook contains the core course material. Each chapter introduces students to word parts, key terms, and relevant medical vocabulary. There are interactive activities embedded into each chapter to help students memorize the terms and practice applying them. 


Medical Terminology Student Companion

Medical Terminology Student Companion 

The printable student companion adds no new content, but formats the content in a way that is easily printed for student study and review. The interactive activities are translated into a static, printable version, and the contextual content is removed from the essential word parts and medical terminology to be learned.

Canvas Commons

Medical Terminology Canvas Course Shell 

This openly licensed course is aligned with the Medical Terminology textbook and student companion. It contains a variety of materials, assignments, and assessments to support instructors and students of Medical Terminology.


There is a more complete description of the project available in the introduction of the Medical Terminology open textbook.

Faculty across the Wisconsin Technical College System (WTCS) are piloting the textbook in Fall 2022 and Spring 2023.Their feedback will inform edits or revisions for the next edition of the book.

WTCS OER MedTerm Workgroup:

Hilary Barker (WTCS), Ashley McHose (LTC), Ellen Range (WTC), Kelly Carpenter (LTC), Cindy Domaika (NATC),Heidi Belitz (LTC), Stacey Grimm (LTC), Coleen Allee (LTC), Traci Gotz (GTC), Michael Randolph (GTC), Elaine Strachota (MATC), Laurie Zielinski (MATC)

See also: Greek and Latin Roots

§92. General Principles of Latin Compounds

Most Latin compound words and their derivatives can be divided into two classes: . . . Read more »


§93. Compounds Related to FACERE


Of all the verbs used to form Latin compounds, none has been more fruitful than facere, which appears in English in such forms as pacific (< pac-i-fic-us), pacify (< pac-i-fic-are), and pacification (< pac-i-fic-at-io). Here the first base is pax, pacis (“peace”), so that pacific means “peace-making.” The 1st conjugation verb pacificare is a regular . . . Read more »



§97. The Legacy of Greek


In a course on classical roots in English, there are several good reasons to examine the Latin influence first, despite the historical priority of Greek. A primary consideration is the fact that Latin—directly, or through French—has had a far greater impact on standard English vocabulary, at every level of usage. In learning Latin roots, we . . . Read more »


§109. General Principles of Greek Compounds


Before reading this chapter, you may wish to review Part I, §91 and §92, where compound words were first introduced in the Latin section of our course. The fact that we are dealing with Greek compounds at such an early stage is a signal of their greater importance in English vocabulary, relative to Latin. English . . . Read more »


§111. Interesting Words


Appropriately enough, the “study of humankind”—anthropology—appears to be the earliest of the “-ologies” to have entered the English language, in 1593. Originally, it was used to describe human enquiry in the broadest sense; its modern application to a more limited field dates from about 1860. There are now hundreds of academic disciplines and other studies . . . Read more »


§114. Greek Nouns of the Third Declension


To a greater extent than in the 1st and 2nd declensions, the Greek 3rd declension contains many words that appear in English in exact or conventional transliteration. Some of these are proper names from religion and mythology: Ζευς, Προμηθευς, ’Οδυσσευς, ’Ατλας, Τιταν, Καλυψω, Κυκλωψ, Στυξ = Zeus, Prometheus, Odysseus, Atlas, Titan, Calypso, Cyclops, Styx. Many 3rd . . . Read more »


§133. Exploring Greek Prefixes


Summaries of the type just presented are always a little overwhelming. Let us look for some short-cuts and strategies for learning the list. Tackle first those prefixes that are obvious. In addition to the five we encountered in §131, you can deal easily with amphi- (“on both sides”) and peri- (“around”), which are quite uncomplicated. . . . Read more »


§135. A Sampling of Greek Verb Roots


To illustrate our approach, let us take five different Greek verbs and show how a knowledge of their roots alone will help us understand a lot of English vocabulary. The present infinitive forms will also be listed, if only to prove that they are really irrelevant to English. Much more importantly, you’ll be given a . . . Read more »


§138. General Vocabulary (Greek and Latin)


ENGLISH GREEK AND/OR LATIN EQUIVALENTS healer G ἰατρος (adj. ἰατρικος) = L medicus (adj. medicinus, LL medicalis) medicare, medicatus; [ars] medicina treat G θεραπευ-ειν (adj. θεραπευ-τικος); θεραπεια (“treatment”) doctor < L doctor (docēre, doctus, teach) surgeon < G χειρουργος (χειρ, “hand” + ἐργον, “work”) > L chirurgus physician < G φυσικη τεχνη (physikē technē); cf. . . . Read more »


§139. Standard Medical Suffixes (all Greek)

The following will often be attached by the combining vowel -o-, as in rhin-o-plasty. -ist –istēs (–ἰστης) (creates agent noun; L -ista) –itis inflamed condition –ōsis abnormal condition –ōma morbid affection (a growth, L tumor) -iasis disease, abnormal condition -tomy –tomia cutting; cf. L incision– (caedere, caesus) -ectomy –ektomia cutting out; cf. L excision- -stomy . . . Read more »


§140. A Polyglot Guide to Human Anatomy

The following lexicon should not be taken too seriously. It is a rough-and-ready attempt to match up names of human body parts and organs in English, Greek, and Latin. Any serious effort to learn anatomical and medical terminology should be a task of many weeks, even months; a two-page summary can only provide a glimpse . . . Read more »

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