Tag Archives: medical jargon

Medical jargon: do you need a translator?

28 Sep

by Carolyn Thomas  @HeartSisters

I just love this. Which is to say I don’t love it at all – you need to imagine the snark in my voice if I were actually saying that out loud to you. What I don’t love at all is this example of a real life physician (a cardiac surgeon in Indiana) who is answering a patient’s online question on the website called HealthTap (a site that appears at first blush to be about medical Q&A, but is actually more like a matchmaking service between doctor-shopping patients and the doctors who want to woo them).  Continue reading

Do you know the difference between V.T. and T.V?

25 Jan

by Carolyn Thomas    @HeartSisters

Like any exclusive club, heart disease has its own jargon, understandable only by other members of the club, particularly by cardiac care providers.  For example, I remember lying in my CCU bed (that’s the Coronary Intensive Care Unit), trying to memorize the letters LAD (that’s the Left Anterior Descending, the large coronary artery whose 99% blockage had caused my MI (myocardial infarction – in my case, the so-called ‘widowmaker’ heart attack).

To help others needing simultaneous translation of this new lingo in your research or in your own medical records, here’s a helpful list of some of the most common acronyms/terms you’ll likely find around the cardiac ward. 

NOTE from CAROLYN:  This entire patient-friendly, jargon-free glossary (all 8,000 words!) is also part of my book A Woman’s Guide to Living with Heart Disease (Johns Hopkins University Press, November 2017).   Continue reading