Glossary of Selected Terms

ADOLESCENT: Period of life from puberty to maturity.
ALLERGIC RHINITIS: Medical term for hayfever.
ALLERGY: Diagnosis and treatment of allergic conditions.
ANESTHESIOLOGY: Administration of drugs or other agents to produce insensibility to pain.
ANGIOGRAPHY: X-ray of vessels after the injection of dye which shows up in the x-ray picture.
ANXIETY DISORDER: Chronic condition characterized by an excessive and persistent sense of apprehension with physical symptoms such as sweating, palpitations, and feelings of stress.
ARTERIOSCLEROSIS: Hardening and thickening of the walls of the arteries.
ARTHROSCOPY: Surgical technique whereby a doctor inserts a tube-like instrument into a joint to inspect, diagnose and repair tissues.
ASTHMA: Common disorder in which chronic inflammation of the bronchial tubes (bronchi) makes them swell, narrowing the airways.
ATHEROSCLEROSIS: Progressive thickening and hardening of the walls of medium-sized and large arteries as a result of fat deposits on their inner lining.
BUNION: Localized, painful swelling at the base of the big toe.
CARDIAC CATHETERIZATION: A tubular instrument that can be passed into the heart through a vein or artery, to withdraw samples of blood, measure pressures within the hearts chambers or great vessels, and inject contrast. Used mainly in the diagnosis and evaluation of congenital, rheumatic, and coronary artery lesions and to evaluate systolic and diastolic cardiac function.
CARDIAC ELECTROPHYSIOLOGY: Diagnosis by testing of electrical conduction that is associated with the functioning of the heart.
CARDIOLOGY: Diagnosis and treatment of heart disorders and disease.
CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE: Diseases affecting the heart or blood vessels.
CARDIOVASCULAR SURGERY: Diagnosis and surgical treatment relating to the heart and the blood vessels or circulation.
CATARACT: Clouding of the lens of the eye.
CHRONIC PAIN: Pain which last a long time.
COLPOSCOPY: Procedure in which a gynecologist uses a lighted magnifying instrument called a colposcope to examine the tissues of the vagina and cervix.
COMPUTERIZED TOMOGRAPHY (CT): Pictures of structures within the body created by a computer that takes data from multiple x-ray images and turns them into pictures on a screen.
CONGESTIVE HEART FAILURE (CHF): Inability of the heart to keep up with the demands on it and, specifically, failure of the heart to pump blood with normal efficiency.
CORNEA: Clear, front window of the eye which transmits and focuses light into the eye.
CORONARY ANGIOPLASTY: Procedure with a balloon-tipped catheter to enlarge a narrowing in a coronary artery.
COUNSELOR: Study of the mind and mental processes using therapy as treatment with particular focus on social interactions and the ways actions influence others and vice versa; cannot prescribe medication.
CRITICAL CARE: Diagnosis and treatment of a morbid condition in which death is possible.
DEPRESSION: Illness that involves the body, mood, and thoughts, that affects the way a person eats and sleeps, the way one feels about oneself, and the way one thinks about things.
DEPRESSION, BIPOLAR: Disease also known as manic-depressive illness that involves cycles of depression and elation or mania.
DERMATOLOGY: Diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the skin.
DIABETES: "Diabetes mellitus" or "diabetes insipidus" are both conditions characterized by excessive urination.
DURABLE MEDICAL EQUIPMENT: Equipment that can be used repeatedly for a medical condition in the home (i.e. wheelchairs, home hospital beds, insulin pumps and equipment, etc.).
ELECTROENCEPHALOGRAPH (EEG): Study of electrical current within the brain.
ELECTROMYOGRAM (EMG): Test used to record electrical activity of muscles.
EXTREMITIES: Hands and feet.
FAMILY PRACTICE: Medical specialty which provides continuing and comprehensive general medical care for the individual and family encompassing all ages, both sexes, each organ system, and every disease entity.
FINE NEEDLE ASPIRATION: Use of a thin needle to withdraw tissue from the body.
GASTROENTEROLOGY: Diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the gastrointestinal tract including the stomach, intestines, and associated organs.
GERIATRICS: Specialty of medicine concerned with the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease in older people and problems specific to aging.
GLAUCOMA: Eye condition in which the fluid pressure inside the eye rises because of slowed fluid drainage from the eye.
GYNECOLOGY (GYN): Diagnosis, and treatment of diseases of the female reproductive organs.
HAMMER TOE: Flexed (curled) but not abnormally rotated toe.
HEMATOLOGY: Medical specialty that pertains to the anatomy, physiology, pathology, symptomatology, and therapeutics related to the blood and blood-forming tissues.
HOME HEALTH CARE: Professional staff offering a wide range of services for individuals in their homes including all ages and abilities, and tailored to the individual's needs.
HOSPICE CARE: Team of professionals who work cooperatively to address the physical, emotional, social, and spiritual needs of the patient, family and caregivers to help the patient maintain control over their end-of-life choices.
HOSPITAL: Institution where sick or injured are given medical or surgical care.
IMMUNOLOGY: Study of all aspects of the immune system including the structure and function, disorders of the immune system, blood banking, immunization, and organ transplantation.
INTERNAL MEDICINE: Prevention, diagnosis and medical treatment of diseases in adults.
INTERVENTIONAL CARDIOLOGY: Action that produces an effect or is intended to alter the course of a pathologic process of the heart.
LABORATORY: Place for having tests performed (i.e. blood work, urinalysis, etc.).
LASER VISION CORRECTION: Surgery that changes the shape of the front of the eye to achieve proper focus.
LIPIDS: Fatty acids, neutral fats, waxes and steroids. Cholesterol and triglycerides are lipids.
MENOPAUSE: "Change of life" - time when there have been no menstrual periods for 12 consecutive months and no other biological or physiological cause can be identified.
MAGNETIC RESONANCE IMAGING (MRI): Procedure using a magnet linked to a computer to create pictures of areas inside the body.
MOH'S: Special type of surgery used for the treatment of skin cancer, especially basal cell or squamous cell carcinoma of the skin.
MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS (MS): Disease that randomly attacks the central nervous system, wearing away the control a person has over their body.
NEUROLOGY: Study, diagnosis, and treatment of disorders of the nervous system including the brain, the nerves, and spinal cord through non-surgical means.
OBSTETRICS (OB): Specialty of medicine concerned with the care of women during pregnancy, childbirth, and post-partum.
OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY: Evaluate joint conditions to determine the impact on activities of daily living and to treat conditions to improve the quality of activities of daily living.
OBSESSIVE-COMPULSIVE DISORDER (OCD): Psychiatric disorder characterized by obsessive thoughts and compulsive actions, often concerned with checking, cleaning, counting, or hoarding.
ONCOLOGY: Field of medicine devoted to the study of tumors and cancer.
ONCOLOGY-MEDICAL: Diagnosis and treatment of tumors and cancer with medicine/chemotherapy.
ONCOLOGY-RADIATION: Diagnosis and treatment of tumors and cancer with therapeutic radiation (radiation therapy or radiotherapy).
OPHTHALMOLOGY: Diagnosis and treatment of the eye, its diseases, disorders, or injury.
ORTHOPEDICS-MEDICAL: Diagnosis and treatment concerned with the preservation, restoration, and development of form and function of the skeletal system including muscles, bones, extremities, spine, and associated structures by non-surgical means.
ORTHOPEDICS-SURGICAL: Diagnosis and treatment concerned with the preservation, restoration, and development of form and function of the skeletal system including muscles, bones, extremities, spine, and associated structures by surgical means.
OTOLARYNGOLOGY: Diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the ears, nose and throat including the upper respiratory tract and diseases of the head and neck by medical and surgical means.
PALPITATIONS: Unpleasant sensation of irregular and/or forceful beating of the heart.
PANIC DISORDER: Anxiety disorder characterized by sudden attacks of fear and panic.
PATHOLOGY: Branch of medicine that identifies diseases by studying cells and tissues under a microscope.
PEDIATRICS: Specialty of medicine concerned with the health of infants, children and adolescents, and their growth and development.
PERIMENOPAUSE: Approaching menopause - menopause transition.
PERIPHERAL VASCULAR DISEASE: Situated away from the center of the body and relating to the blood vessels of the body (i.e. arteriosclerosis, atherosclerosis, circulation or claudication disease)
PESSARY: Appliance of varied form, introduced into the vagina to support the uterus or to correct any displacement.
PHYSICAL THERAPY: Rehabilitative health that uses specially designed exercises and equipment to help patients regain or improve their physical abilities.
PODIATRY: Diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the foot.
PREVENTIVE HEALTH CARE: Medicine designed to avert and avoid disease - a proactive approach.
PRIMARY CARE PHYSICIAN: Provides continuity and integration of healthcare, both preventive and curative over a period of time and coordinates the care the patient receives. Includes those physicians practicing in the specialties of family practice, internal medicine, obstetrics and gynecology (OB/Gyn), and pediatrics.
PSYCHIATRY: Diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of mental illnesses and substance use disorders.
PSYCHOLOGY: Study of the mind and mental processes including emotional disturbance and behavior problems using therapy as treatment to focus on the ways actions influence others and vice versa; cannot prescribe medication.
PULMONARY: Diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the lungs.
RADIOLOGY (X-Ray): Diagnosis of diseases through the use of x-rays.
RESECTION: Surgical removal of part of an organ.
SOCIAL PHOBIA: Excessive fear of embarrassment in social situations that is extremely intrusive and can have debilitating effects on personal and professional relationships.
SOCIAL WORKER: Study of the mind and mental processes using therapy as treatment with particular focus on social interactions and the ways actions influence others and vice versa; cannot prescribe medication.
SPEECH THERAPY: Treatment of speech and communication disorders.
SPORTS MEDICINE: Specialty that diagnoses and treats athletic injuries.
SUBSTANCE ABUSE TREATMENT AND PREVENTION: Specialty that works to prevent and treat substance abuse and addiction including alcohol and drugs.
SURGERY-GENERAL: Diagnosis and surgical treatment of a wide variety of diseases and disorders.
SURGERY-ORAL: Diagnosis and surgical treatment of the mouth and jaw by a dentist.
TOTAL HIP RECONSTRUCTION: Surgery in which the diseased ball and socket of the hip joint are completely removed and replaced with artificial materials.
TOTAL KNEE RECONSTRUCTION: Surgery in which damaged parts of the knee joint are replaced with artificial parts.
ULTRASOUND: High-frequency sound waves that can be bounced off of tissue using special devices. The echoes are then converted into a picture allowing for an inside view of soft tissues and body cavities without using invasive techniques.
URGENT CARE: Diagnosis and treatment of illness or injury of an acute nature that requires immediate care.
UROLOGY: Diagnosis and treatment of the urinary organs in females and the urinary tract and sex organs in males.
URTICARIA: Hives (raised, itchy areas of the skin that are usually a sign of an allergic reaction).
VAGINAL PROLAPSE: Falling down or downward displacement vaginally.