Medical Terminology Book: Textbook vs. Workbook

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Medical school enrollment is on the rise. The Association of American Medical Colleges reports that nearly 100,000 people are currently enrolled in a US medical school. That is a 17.8% increase from a decade ago.

If you are gearing up for med school, you probably feel overwhelmed right about now. You may be moving to a new place and meeting new people. That's not even to mention the logistical considerations like getting textbooks.

Are you searching for a medical terminology book to help you study? Medical Creations offers a medical terminology textbook and workbook. Read this guide to understand the difference between the two, who needs them, and more.

What Can You Learn From a Medical Terminology Book?

You can learn terms for major body systems, diseases, and other conditions from a medical terminology book. Students will also learn the correct abbreviations for medical terms.

Like other spaces, the medical world has a language all its own. Learning this language helps students effectively communicate with other professionals in their space.

And medical terminology is not all about rote memorization. Instead, students will learn rules about medical terms. That way, you can recognize unfamiliar words and phrases when you do not know them already.

Terms for Major Human Body Systems

Understanding human body systems is crucial for medical students. Why? You must understand how these systems work normally to identify and diagnose issues when they work abnormally.

The major organ systems students will learn about in a medical terminology course are:

  • The cardiovascular system
  • The excretory system
  • The endocrine system
  • The exocrine system
  • The lymphatic system
  • The muscular system
  • The nervous system
  • The urinary system
  • The reproductive system
  • The respiratory system
  • The skeletal system

Within each of these systems are groups of organs and tissues that work together to carry out bodily functions. Students will also learn terms for these organ system components.

Medical Term Abbreviations

Medical term abbreviations are important for a few reasons.

First, many medical professionals use common abbreviations in speech. You need to understand these terms to communicate effectively with your peers.

Second, abbreviations are crucial for speedy and efficient documentation. Doctors, nurses, and administrative staff must know how to record and read abbreviations on patient medical records.

Examples of commonly used medical term abbreviations are BP (blood pressure), CBC (complete blood count), and Fx (fracture).

There are also abbreviations for many common diseases and disorders. For example, gastric ulcer is GU, gallbladder carcinoma is GBC, and diabetes mellitus is DM.

Medical Terminology Rules

The rules of medical terminology include root words, prefixes, and suffixes.

For example, the root word for bone is "oste," and the root word for nerves is "neur." You can see these root words in words like osteopath (joint doctors) and neurologist (central nervous system specialists).

Prefixes are sequences of letters used before root words. Suffixes are the opposite—they appear at the end of the word. Prefixes and suffixes add meaning to the root word.

An example of a prefix is "inter," meaning between. You can see this prefix in the term "interneuron." Interneurons are nerves that connect (i.e., sit between) sensory and motor neurons in the central nervous system.

An example of a suffix is "-ectomy," which refers to surgically removing a body part. The word "ostectomy" uses this suffix. An ostectomy is a surgical procedure used to excise part of or an entire bone.

Who Needs a Medical Terminology Book?

Anyone can buy a medical terminology book and learn. However, the authors of these books design them for medical students and other aspiring medical field professionals.

People who handle medical records may also benefit from learning medical terminology. Healthcare professionals typically use medical abbreviations in patient records. Understanding them is essential for fast reimbursement.

People who work at health insurance companies often take medical terminology courses, too.


Practitioners are licensed healthcare professionals. They include doctors, surgeons, and dentists. Clinical psychologists, counselors, and social workers are also practitioners in the mental health field.

These individuals often learn medical terminology in their advanced degree programs. Then, they use these terms daily on the job to speed up communication with their peers.

Additionally, many medical articles contain these terms. Practitioners need to stay up-to-date with the latest research. Knowing medical terminology makes it easier and faster to read medical journals.

Medical Administrators

Medical administrators may or may not hold licenses or advanced degrees. They are technical specialists who handle healthcare documents. These professionals include the following job roles:

  • Medical office assistants
  • Medical transcriptionists
  • Medical coders

These professionals often handle documents containing medical terms and abbreviations. Understanding medical terminology is essential to getting the job done quickly and effectively.


Insurance company employees handle medical documents daily. These individuals may not need as deep an understanding of medical terms as practitioners and administrators.

Still, having a basic understanding can help these professionals do their jobs better.

What Are the Best Medical Terminology Books?

Medical Terminology from Medical Creations is the best and most effective medical terminology book for students. It is also the perfect study guide for aspiring med students or RNs gearing up for the MCAT or NCLEX.

This book focuses on medical terminology rules. The goal is to empower students with the tools they need to recognize new medical terms without having to memorize them all.

Why is this the best book for learning medical terms? We created this textbook with readability in mind. Chapters are easy to digest, regardless of how much experience you have in the field.

Our authors included helpful charts and tables to break down information. Reference these graphs when reviewing for exams or refreshing your memory.

This textbook unfolds progressively. Each chapter builds on the previous one for a more intuitive learning structure. The short quizzes at the end of each chapter can help you test your understanding along the way.

Another reason to love the Medical Terminology textbook from Medical Creations is the companion workbook. We took your feedback into consideration and produced this workbook to provide even more practice.

Our workbook contains a wide array of quizzes and exercises. The questions come in a variety of formats, from fill-in-the-blank to multiple-choice.

Medical Terminology Textbook vs Workbook: What's the Difference?

Medical Creations' Medical Terminology textbook is the best way to learn medical industry jargon, while the Medical Terminology Workbook can help you practice what you learn.

You can use the textbook alone. Or you can combine it with the companion workbook to deepen your learning. Below, we explain three strategies for combining these materials.

How to Study With Our Medical Terminology Course Textbook and Workbook

There are three ways to combine these materials for optimum learning.

The first way is to use the workbook as a test of your existing medical terminology knowledge. This approach is best for those who have taken a medical terminology course before or have experience in the field.

Before you crack open the textbook, work through the questions in the workbook. Identify your gaps in understanding. Then tailor your textbook study approach to address these gaps.

The second strategy is to use the workbook as a textbook supplement. Each textbook chapter has a corresponding unit in the workbook. This method offers the deepest learning, so it is ideal for medical terminology beginners.

Start by reading through a textbook chapter and taking the end-of-chapter quiz. Next, use the workbook problems to support those quizzes. The more practice you get, the better you will retain what you learn.

The third strategy is to use the workbook to test your understanding. Try this study plan if you tend to pick up new information quickly. You will waste less time and get through the textbook faster.

For example, students may work through the textbook and its quizzes throughout the semester. Then, use the workbook to help you prep for exams. You can also pull it out periodically to brush up on your knowledge.

Medical Terminology Book FAQs

At Medical Creations, we get a lot of questions about medical terminology. We curated the most-asked questions and answered them for you below for your convenience. 

How Do I Teach Myself Medical Terminology?

You can teach yourself medical terminology with the help of a textbook. Medical Terminology from Medical Creations is an excellent choice for self-paced study.

Consider combining this textbook with our Medical Terminology Workbook. The workbook allows you to practice what you learn in the companion textbook.

Is a Basic Medical Terminology Class Difficult?

Basic medical terminology classes are not difficult, but many students still struggle. There are a ton of medical terminology rules to learn. And for many, the course is not as exciting as other, more hands-on classes.

Using the right textbook can help make medical terminology courses much easier. Medical Creations wrote Medical Terminology with this goal in mind.

Where Can I Find More Information on Medical Terminology?

You can find more information about medical terminology in our Medical Terminology textbook and companion workbook. These materials have everything you need to learn the rules of medical industry jargon.

Online resources are also available. Check out the general medical dictionary at or Harvard Health Publishing.

Students and professionals can also find medical terminology rules on Open MD and the National Library of Medicine's website.

Do You Have to Memorize Medical Terminology?

You may not have to memorize all the medical terms out there, but you do need to memorize the associated rules. Memorizing these rules ensures that you do not need to know what every single medical term out there means.

Our Medical Terminology textbook uses this exact approach. Students may feel overwhelmed by all the terms required to work in the medical field. With our textbook, we simplified this process to make your life easier.

What Are the 4 Important Parts of Medical Terminology?

The four most important parts of any medical term are:

  1. The root word
  2. The prefix
  3. The suffix
  4. The combining form vowel

We discussed root words, prefixes, and suffixes earlier in this guide. But what are combining form vowels? Adding a vowel to a root word produces a combining form.

The most common combining form vowel is "o." Let's take the word osteoarthritis as an example. This term breaks down into the root words "oste" and "arthr," the suffix "itis," and the combining form vowel "o."

"Oste" means bone, and "arthr" means joint. The suffix "itis" refers to inflammation. In all, this word means bone and joint inflammation.

Is It Worth Taking a Medical Terminology Class?

Yes, a medical terminology class is worth taking for anyone in the medical field. Employees in the health insurance field can also benefit from learning medical terminology rules.

Practitioners need medical terms to communicate with each other effectively. Administrators can advance their careers with medical terminology certification. And insurance companies can use medical terms to reimburse providers faster.

Do Doctors Use Medical Terminology?

Yes, doctors, nurses, and other practitioners use medical terminology on a daily basis. Learning this critical skill is beneficial in three main ways. It improves efficiency, facilitates communication, and standardizes documentation.

If you need to learn medical terms for your job, Medical Creations has medical student textbooks to help.

Medical Creations Has the Medical Books You Need

A medical terminology book teaches students the language of the healthcare industry. Use Medical Creations' workbook and companion textbook to learn the rules of medical terminology and advance your career.

Are you looking for the best medical textbooks, IV and suture kits, and online training courses? Medical Creations is on a mission to empower students like you with high-quality learning materials.

Browse our products to find the products you need to succeed.

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