What do you think about the use of medical jargon?

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Sushan
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What do you think about the use of medical jargon?

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This topic is related to the philosophical book for the month of June Surviving the Business of Healthcare: Knowledge is Power by Barbara Galutia Regis PA-C

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The author has gone to the extent of describing, at the very beginning of the book, she being diagnosed with a cancer, the tests that were done, the procedures and their results, the names of medications, etc. Is it a good thing to include that much technical content in a book which is intended for non-medical personnel?
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Re: What do you think about the use of medical jargon?

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I’d wager that most Americans, anyway, know what an EKG is, if not what the individual letters mean. Probably likewise for an IV, at least by context of a sentence.

However, I’m afraid there’s far too much medical jargon, as well as the jargon of many other endeavors, to be understood by the lay public.

To communicate with anyone, it’s necessary to keep sight of the characteristics of the audience.
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Re: What do you think about the use of medical jargon?

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AverageBozo wrote: June 3rd, 2021, 2:01 pm I’d wager that most Americans, anyway, know what an EKG is, if not what the individual letters mean. Probably likewise for an IV, at least by context of a sentence.

However, I’m afraid there’s far too much medical jargon, as well as the jargon of many other endeavors, to be understood by the lay public.

To communicate with anyone, it’s necessary to keep sight of the characteristics of the audience.
I agree. It is not unfair from author's side to assume that the general population may know few commonly used medical terms. But at the same time, if I take your example of EKG, though it is EKG in US it is ECG in UK. So, as this book is not intended only for US readers, even such occasion will confuse the reader.

Anyway, I think it is better to keep away the technical terms as much as possible in this sort of a book of which the target audience is not doctors or nurses, but the general population who are at the receiving end of healthcare services.
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Re: What do you think about the use of medical jargon?

Post by mbhuibregtse »

I think the book needs the medical terms to make the most sense. Even if not everyone understands the terms, they can look them up. I feel like the book would seem unclear if the author were to say, "I was given a cancer diagnosis" as opposed to the specific names. Further, the audience can relate to the book more if they have experience with the same diagnosis.
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Re: What do you think about the use of medical jargon?

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overall, i think she largely skirted the jargon-issue. some words are unique to the health field, and when she uses those words, she defines them with common vocabulary.
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Re: What do you think about the use of medical jargon?

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mbhuibregtse wrote: June 6th, 2021, 3:32 pm I think the book needs the medical terms to make the most sense. Even if not everyone understands the terms, they can look them up. I feel like the book would seem unclear if the author were to say, "I was given a cancer diagnosis" as opposed to the specific names. Further, the audience can relate to the book more if they have experience with the same diagnosis.
Those who have had the same or a similar diagnosis and had the chance to hear some medical jargon several times will find it easy to understand and relate the book.

But I do not think a reader will prefer to look at a dictionary or search the internet to find the meaning of technical terms word by word as it makes the reading experince distracting. It will feel like reading a novel in a foreign language with the help of a dictionary. You may learn the language, but it will break the flow and you are tend to loose interest.

So I think it is okay to use some amount of technical terms, but it would be better if the usage was less as much as possible.
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Re: What do you think about the use of medical jargon?

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Te author has a strong medical background and has written this book about the medical industry only so I feel that the use of medical jargon is inevitable and also natural. As for the non medical readers, most of the terms may be familiar to them before reading this book also because we visit our doctors every now and then.
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Re: What do you think about the use of medical jargon?

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Right out of the gate, I discovered a problem with the use of medical jargon in the book, Surviving the Business of Healthcare: Knowledge is Power by Barbar Galutia Regis PA-C.
On the first page, the author describes a lesion on her skin and referred to the ABCDE of melanoma. While I am quite knowledgeable in medical terms and have certainly heard of the ABCDE's of melanoma, I do not know what each individual letter stands for. On the first page, I had to take a break and look up the information. Additionally, the author refers to Mohs surgery on that same first page. Again, I had to look up exactly what that was. Further describing her lesion, she says that "D and E of ABCDE now applied" What the heck is D and E??
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Re: What do you think about the use of medical jargon?

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bookishgal wrote: June 6th, 2021, 3:37 pm overall, i think she largely skirted the jargon-issue. some words are unique to the health field, and when she uses those words, she defines them with common vocabulary.
At some occasions she has done that but at some occasions she has just mentioned the technical term. She may have assumed that those terms are quite commonly used, so the common reader would know them. And I believe that it is difficult for a doctor to speak about her own subject without the use of medical jargon as she is used to it. Anyway, I think she could have used footnotes to define her medical terms.
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