Medical Writing Medical Communication Medical Gems
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Volume 25, Issue 2 - Medical Communication

Medical Gems

Abstract

Every discipline employs its own secretive words – jargon that allows initiates to communicate with one another in a way that excludes others. The world of medicine is no exception. The idioms used by doctors and surgeons range from the humorous to terms which seem designed to deliberately obscure the real meaning of the word. Other phrases stand out simply due to the incongruous pairing of everyday words. This article contains some real-life examples of all these because, as you know, sometimes words have two meanings.

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References

  1. Fox AT, Fertleman M, Cahill P, Palmer RD. Medical slang in British hospitals. Ethics & behaviour. 2003;13(2): 173-89.
  2. James R, Nasmyth-Jones R. The occurrence of cervical fractures in victims of judicial hanging. Forensic science international. 1992;54(1): 81-91.
  3. Hoffman R. Do you have “poor protoplasm”? Intelligent Medicine™. 2016 [cited 2016 Feb 12]. Available from: http://drhoffman.com/article/ do-you-have-poor-protoplasm/

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  • Victoria White (Tampa, Florida, USA)
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  • Amy Whereat (SpeaktheSpeech Consulting, Asnieres sur Seine, France)

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