Welcome to the Language of Medical Terminology OER

It is very exciting to learn a new language, and medical terminology, which is the focus of this textbook, is essentially its own language. This resource was designed for an introductory medical terminology course for medical office assistants and hospital unit clerks at NorQuest College; however, it is likely to be useful for individuals in other healthcare professions as well.

To assist with learning the complex language of medical terminology, each chapter has embedded H5P activities, including a final chapter review. We have also included content on abbreviations, diagnostic procedures, medical professionals, and body systems. We hope that this textbook will provide a thorough overview of not only medical terminology, but also other topics in the healthcare setting.

How to Use This OER

Learning medical terminology requires a lot of commitment. In order to get the full benefits of this textbook, daily review is important, and using the review exercises and activities in the chapters will help you learn and remember the content. In addition, we suggest creating flashcards with suffixes, prefixes, and combining forms to help you recall what you have learned.

For instructors, our hope is that you can use the content and adapt it as necessary for your own programs and courses.


A number of open educational textbooks and other reference material were used in the creation of this resource. The works listed below are those most often referenced in this OER. For each chapter, attribution is provided for these and other resources that were used.


Cover image: Axial MRI scans of a person with multiple sclerosis (30208218503) by NIH Image Gallery, Public domain

This resource was produced by NorQuest College in partnership with the University of Alberta Library’s Open Education Alberta publishing project.

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The Language of Medical Terminology Copyright © 2022 by Lisa Sturdy and Susanne Erickson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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