Medical Terminology based on Greek and Latin in Modern Health and Health Care Education
Medical Terminology based on Greek and Latin in modern Health and Health Care education. The department of Ancient Languages in co-operation with the department of Anatomy embarked in the late nineties on a course in Medical Terminology for students of the Veterinary and Health Sciences. Before long, students from biological and Agricultural Sciences, Dentistry, Nursing Sciences, Biokinetics and Dietetics also adopted the course in their curriculum at the University of Pretoria. As from 2006 the course will also be included in the Radiography and Occupational Therapy curriculum with a total close 800 students per annum. The average medical student has to learn about 15 000 new words, approximately 94% of which is derived from Latin and Greek as reported in the Journal of Medical Education (vol. 55  pp. 128-129). To keep apace of medical science and to communicate an international medical language effectively, medical language must be able to expand and change. Medical Terminology like any living language is not static. It has become a common currency not only of those in medical professions but also of lawyers, equipment suppliers, pharmaceutical representatives and others who interact with health care providers and consumers" (Myrna la Fleur, Medical Terminology). A questionnaire was handed out to students involved in the course to determine their impressions and experiences as well as the suitability and appropriateness of the course for their future careers. A Lichert scale was used with ten questions in total. The course received an overall rating of 4.03 (SD 0.92) and a rating of 4.48 (SD 0.85) for application to future career needs. At the University of Pretoria the course in Medical Terminology proved to be 100% outcomes based and to develop an interdisciplinary agenda between Ancient Languages and Anatomy and a New Direction in the Faculty of Humanities, University of Pretoria, South Africa.
Keywords: Medical Terminology, Classics, Latin, Greek
Mrs Corrie Schumann
Head, Academia Latina Department of Ancient Languages Faculty of Humanities University of Pretoria, Classical Association of South Africa (CASA)
Head, Department of Anatomy Faculty of Health Sciences University of Pretoria, Academia Latina