The Great Rotary Cup Debacle . . . It’s a Crime!
Many of you know I work in the medical field. I work with people and that’s what I love most about what I do. And mostly, people are the same everywhere. They struggle with the challenges they face, they struggle with making sense of their topsy-turvy circumstances, they struggle with finding that “new normal” . . . and they struggle with much of the medical terminology they hear from professionals. And sometimes, they butcher that terminology. Boy, do they butcher it. I mean, no mercy.
Here are a few of my favorite cuts . . .
“Doc says I tore my rotary cup.” That would be your rotator cuff. This is like a mash-up between the Rotary Club and Stanley Cup.
“I’m a survivor of prosthetic cancer.” I think you mean prostate cancer. I’m not positive but I’m pretty sure an artificial limb can’t get cancer.
“I have an enlarged prostrate.” Okay, once and for all . . . prostrate means you’re laying facedown, on your stomach. The gland is a prostate. Just, prostate.
“I fell and got a spressed fracture in my vertebrae.” You mean a stress fracture. To my knowledge, spressed isn’t even a word but who knows, people make up all kinds of words these days.
“I have metropathy in my feet.” You have neuropathy in your feet. Metropathy would be a disease that has invaded Metropolis. Call Superman.
“I pulled my ham bone.” That’s just weird. It’s a hamstring.
“My bowel tore and I had thesis in my belly.” Um . . . feces. It’s feces. Unless, of course, your belly is planning its dissertation.
Look, I understand medical terminology is a language in and of itself and medical professionals need to do a better job of educating their patients about what that pain in their feet is called or what kind of cancer they have but please, for the love of the English language, the Latin language, some guy named Pete, and every letter of the alphabet, stop the butchering. Hasn’t there been enough violence?
Do you have a medical terminology goof to add to the list? Let’s hear it.
Posted on January 31, 2014, in Communication, Life in General and tagged medical language, medical terminology, misinterpretation, misunderstanding, patient literacy, plain speaking, rotator cuff. Bookmark the permalink. 16 Comments.