Medical Transcription Word Differentiation

Medical language is full of confusing terms, abbreviations and variations. Medical transcriptionists are medical language specialists who can determine proper usage of medical terms, abbreviations, and phrases within medical reports. As a professional MT, whether you are self-employed and working at home, work for a transcription company or in a hospital or doctor's office, your clients rely on you to make accurate decisions when it comes to medical terminology.

When you are transcribing medical dictation, make sure that you avoid making embarrassing mistakes! This is a list of common sound-alike words that are often misused in medical reports.

Sac vs. Sack

Sac

A pouch, bursa. Capsule of a tumor

Sack

A bag or satchel.

Pharynx vs. Phalanx vs. Fornix

Pharynx

Alimentary tract between the mouth, nasal cavities and esophagus.

Phalanx

Long bone of the digits in hand or foot. Singular form.

Fornix

An arch-shaped structure or roof of an anatomic space.

Metatarsal vs. Metacarpal

Tarsal or Metatarsal

Relating to bones in the foot.

Carpal or Metacarpal

Relating to bones in the hand

Tenia vs. Tinea

Tenia

Band-like structure.

Tinea

Fungus infection.

Dysplasia vs. Dysphasia vs. Dysphagia

Dysplasia

Abnormal tissue development

Dysphasia

Impairment in speech

Dysphagia

Difficulty swallowing

Plural vs. Pleural

Plural

A grammatical form denoting more than one.

Pleural

Relating to the membrane enveloping the lungs and pulmonary cavity.

Insure vs. Ensure

Insure

To have insurance, or an insurance policy.

Ensure

To make sure something happens.

Aid vs. Aide vs. AIDS

Aid

A helpful device

Aide

A helpful person; an assistant.

AIDS

Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome.

Lie vs. Lay

Lie

to recline or rest.

Lay

to place something on a surface.

Cereal vs. Serial

Cereal

A grain based food.

Serial

A series of successive numbers or events.

Track vs. Tract

Track

A path or course; a sequence of events.

Tract

An elongated area; a passage.

Pain vs. Pane

Pain

Unpleasant sensation or feeling.

Pane

A piece or section. A framed sheet of glass.

Pain vs. Pane

Heel

Back area of the bottom of the foot.

Heal

To restore health

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