Medical text takes on an Aussie style

You say tomato, I say tomahto and to most of us it wouldn't make any difference, but when it comes to the language of medicine getting it right is vital.

Authored by two Queensland University of Technology academics, Australia's first medical terminology textbook was launched this week and aims to advance the understanding of medical terms.

Sue Walker and Jenny Nicol, from QUT's School of Public Health, have spent two years turning the American spelling, terminology, descriptions and definitions of a medical text into Australian style.

The Language of Medicine is specifically aimed at the Australian and New Zealand health sector but is suitable for any country that uses British spelling conventions.

"The book has been completely updated to suit Australia and is aimed at allied health and medical professionals, as well as anybody who needs to have understanding of medical terminology," Ms Nicol said.

"All spelling has been changed from American to Australian style and descriptions have been modified to illustrate clinical practice in Australia and New Zealand. Drug names now reflect the terminology used in Australia."

Ms Nicol said there were many critical differences between American and Australian medical terminology.

"For example epinephrine is widely referred to as adrenaline outside of the United States. In Australia we call it adrenaline, so you can imagine the problems that can arise when people are trying to understand the different medical terms," she said.

Mrs Walker said the text provided practical applications of medical terminology through case studies, actual medical records and discharge summaries.

"All terms, definitions and clinical information have been reviewed and rewritten as necessary to match Australian health system practices with inappropriate terminology removed," she said.

"It is also possible for readers to work out the meanings of words

Contact: Sandra Hutchinson
Queensland University of Technology

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