Doctors may occasionally throw medical terms around that bemused patients. Sometimes, they do this to hide painful facts, but frequently, work obsession makes them assume that patients understand them.
Firstly, the term cardiovascular means anything to do with the heart and blood vessels. This is usually common in heart disease discussions.
Secondly, respiratory means anything to do with breathing, the lungs and its connective organs. This term is quite common among cases of breathing problems or lung infections.
Thirdly, the term urinary refers to the kidney and its connective systems. Doctors often use this term, when dealing with patients seeking dialysis and other kidney treatments.
Fourthly, the term gastrointestinal refers to the digestive system from the mouth to all excretory organs. Doctors use this term when referring to issues relating to nourishment and assimilation problems.
Lastly, the term nervous refers to the brain, spinal chord and related organs. This term often refers to sensory organs and their response to stimuli.
Common medical abbreviations that doctors use include abdomin/o, arteri/o, carcin/o, derm/a and opthalm/o.
Abdomin/o refers to the abdomen area or midsection that contains most of the body’s organs.
Arteri/o refers to the arteries, which are major blood vessels found deep inside the body and carry blood from the heart.
Carcin/o refers to cancer and frequently implies cancer-causing substances.
Derm/a refers to the skin and is most commonly used to refer to doctors treating the skin (dermatologists) and skin diseases (e.g. dermatitis).
Lastly, opthalm/o refers to the eyes. Some uses of the abbreviation include ophthalmologist (eye surgeons), ophthalmology (that branch of medicine dedicated to eye health), etc.
Doctors may or may not use these terms in both good and bad situations, but most of the time, their aim is to shield the patient from unnecessary stress.
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