Secret Language of Doctors: MEDICAL TERMS Translated (Medical Resident Vlog)

Secret Language of Doctors: MEDICAL TERMS Translated (Medical Resident Vlog)

Hey guys, I’m Siobhan, a first-year medical resident. Today I’m going to let you in on the secret language of doctors and know what the medical words for actually normal English words are. Medicine is actually like a different language at times and you have all these fancy words that mean the same thing as something that we already know in English and as a medical student I felt like I was constantly trying to learn words and look them up on Google and Translate my normal vocabulary into fancy medical terms so that I sounded smart or sound like a doctor. The weird part was today in clinic I actually had the opposite experience. I was thinking in these medical terms and I felt like I had to translate them back into regular English to explain it to patients. As a medical student if you told me that I couldn’t imagine that so soon I would be thinking in this medical language. So that can be overwhelming for medical students, but it can also be overwhelming for patients when they don’t really know what doctors are saying, so it’s our job to be able to express ourselves properly and not actually use all this medical jargon. So here are some common ones and see if you already know some of the translations back and forth. That noise joints make when they crack: crepitus. I always think that sounds like creaking like crepitus. Runny nose: rhinorrhea Actually the first time I heard that I kind of thought it sounded like diarrhea through your nose. And that’s how I remembered it as med student. Listening with a stethoscope: auscultation Growling stomach: Borborygmi. It kinda sounds like more of a stomach like bore bore bore borborygmi. Goose bumps: horripilation. That doesn’t sound so good. When something bursts: perforation. If something breaks: fracture. Rapid alternating movements: diadochokinesia. You actually do this. We get patients to do this fast alternating movement and it’s to test part of the back of their brain, right back here in the cerebellum. Loss of appetite, you just don’t want to eat: anorexia, which is different than anorexia nervosa which is an eating disorder, but just anorexia means that you don’t have any hunger. So if you’re feeling really really sick, and you don’t want to eat, that’s anorexia. Walking: ambulating. I thought this was a weird one because it sounds like ambulance and when you’re in an ambulance, you’re not walking. Anyway, ambulating is walking. Dry-mouth: xerostomia. Dry skin: xerosis. Fainting: syncope. And that feeling when you think you’re about to pass out and everything sort of graying out you want to sit down, that’s called pre-syncope. When the whole room is spinning: vertigo. When someone’s super super super super skinny: cachectic. When you see that it’s just never a good sign. When you don’t really know what caused it: idiopathic. Most frustrating one because we don’t know what causes it. We know it happens, but we don’t know why. Brain freeze: Sphenopalatina Ganglioneuralgia. To be honest I just looked that one up. I didn’t even know that one. Thanks for watching, don’t forget to subscribe if you haven’t already and let me know in the comments below if you’ve had any experiences where doctors have said strange weird words or if you heard things on TV shows. I’m always curious to hear them. I’ll chat with you guys later.


  1. iraqidolphin1 says:

    Neurologist said i had a phakomatosis. Turns out I don't. I have a rare genetic disease that only 100 people in the world have.

  2. markrey cuervo says:

    Epistaxis = nosebleed

  3. Melia Mohn says:

    Yes! H.E. – hepatic encephalopathy. I have ESLD. My husband can't say it so he says that brain thing. I've learned a lot with this disease.

  4. Life as Lex says:

  5. BILLY RENK says:

    That's why I became a Pediatrician!! I get to say fart, snot, poop….forget those fancy words!!:)

  6. PolarChi says:

    From someone who understands these words this vid is so funny! XD

  7. Katie Johnson says:

    When I try to explain my genetic defects and health history to a doctor that is new to me. "I am the queen of itis's" Little medical humor from a patient to you. U r welcome lmbo.

  8. Drlubna Azeem says:

    It's a bestest episode

  9. Kara Stub says:

    I easily learned this in sports health care from the AT at school. It’s really simple if your intelligence is high.

  10. Safi Hurley says:

    I understand the "idiopathic is a frustrating word. Lol, I have 2 idiopathic conditions

  11. KMartha22 says:

    Ambulation sounds like amputation.

  12. Audrey Vasquez says:

    I went to the ER about a year ago because I passed out while driving and it was a medical resident who came in to talk to me and kept saying syncope and never once explained it to me lol

    Also what you said about the difference about anorexia vs anorexia nervosa blew my mind a little bit

  13. Stina Palm says:

    The hand back and forth thing is something I've done A LOT, because I have Arnold Chiari or Chiari II malformation (my cerebellum has moved a little bit down my spine). But I've never heard the latin word for it.

  14. Savvas Halliwell says:

    Well, many words derive from Greek. When we see them written down.. they immediately make sense. But when pronounced in English, it's just as tricky as you think of them. For instance, I heard "triskaidekaphobia" and I didn't understand a thing until I saw it written down :D. Btw, the words "xerostomia" and "xerosis" (greek medical term: "xerodermia") are actually pronounced with an "X" in Greek (: ksirostomίa and ksirodermίa).

  15. UTube Junkie says:

    I learn what “ambulatory” meant [in terms of a wheelchair user being ambulatory] from Annie Elaine.
    Didn’t know doctors used such terms. 🙂

  16. Leah Jackson says:

    loved this vid

  17. JAMES PURKS says:

    I was trained as a medic and sometime later, I was seeing my family dr, and his nurse asked me if was having trouble with something, I forget what it was, but I did know what she was talking about. She tried 3 times to get across what she meant, and still have no idea what she meant. Finally, I asked her to use medical terminology. She did, and then I knew what she was asking in layman's terms and then I said oh, I know what you mean now and her jaw was bouncing off the floor.

  18. jtn2002 says:

    As a mathematics professor I remember all the jargon in my master’s program.

    Like the simplex method for linear optimization; or calculus of transcendental functions; or (one of my favorite topics to teach) a contradictory linear-radical equation with multiple radicals.

  19. Ashley ASHLEYM says:

    As a student studying to become a Clinical Biologist (the people that run all the tests you order, not 100% if a doctor would know what that is, I mean I assume they would but just in case) we had 1 class that was 100% dedicated to learning medical jargon. It was quite nice because they broke down the words and actually the words are base words plus a descriptor, or formulas similar to that, so even if I've never seen a word before, just by knowing the bases and descriptors I can easily understand it. As Medical Students, were you also taught this in a singular class? If not I think it's a great class for everyone in the medical field to take.

  20. Markus Storzer says:

    One of my most favorite words is "Epistaxis" ….though it does not make sense to me because it doesn't include any other words related to it like though there's blood, there is no hemorrhaging involved in the fancy word 😉

  21. E N says:

    Discovered your channel last night and I’ve been binge watching your vids today as I’m home from work sick. I think you’ve found your call as a doctor! You are def the right person on the job! Your vids are fun and informative. I’m an educated nurse but worked in the field for only three years. Anyways, I really enjoy your vids and keep up the good work!

  22. claire and rose downie says:

    You missed one croutons is is you brsin is a 4 places

  23. Grace Rose says:

    So glad I found your channel – I LOVE your videos!!! Keep it up Siobhan!!!💕

  24. Bert Visscher says:

    I recognized 8 of them, 3 of which I recognized from the videos on the YouTube channel Chronically Jaquie.
    Here's a link to it, in case you would like to watch:

  25. Voces Milia - Myriam Gaudreau says:

    Bahaha the brain freeze one is ridiculously long! Wow next time I get a brain freeze I’ll sound so smart 😂

  26. turmat01 says:

    Fun story about "Ambulatory". I used to work for Hospitals. Not as a doctor, nurse, pharmacist or anything, but rather in an IT department. As a programmer, I have absolutely no medical formation whatsoever. I didn't even work IN a hospital, we were in another building. But we had to deal with a ton of medical terms since we had to develop applications that either the medical staff used or that interracted with the other programs used in the hospitals. I must have spent at least 2 years there before I realized "ambulatory" actually meant walking… This makes no sense whatsoever XD

  27. Erika Ellis says:

    I’m an SLP at a hospital and sialorrhea is one we use a lot!

  28. Abbie Rose says:

    I have juvenile idiopathic arthritis😊

  29. Nita Hill says:

    Surgeons seem to use 'doctor speak' the most. In one of my hospital stays I had to learn a lot of surgical terms. The ones I still remember are fem-fem bypass, snorkel, induration, dehiscence, and erythema.

  30. Jacinta Skey says:

    I am so glad I have come across this, it's great filling in the blank spaces, i know a few things and that surprises my nurses, thank you

  31. Eric Taylor says:

    2:35 Actually when you are in an ambulance, you are being moved. When you are ambulating, you are moving yourself. Confusion, clarified. Now, if I could just get rid of this annoying tinnitus…

  32. Eric Taylor says:

    "Idiopathic" because it makes doctors feel like idiots.

  33. Paige ashleigh says:

    Do u know what vwd is

  34. Victoria V says:

    When testing diadochokinesia, at what point do you get worried about the patient? Because I'm struggling to do it as fast as you.

  35. readhead12 readhead12 says:

    Good thing I never fainted in my life before. I always get symptoms 30 seconds prior to fainting so I can go and get fresh air or sit down or do something to prevent it. It usually only happens when I'm really tired as I usually have low blood pressure.

  36. bassmasters2 says:

    You should have went to Juilliard.

  37. Christian Craig says:

    I'm only a college freshman but a lot of these make sense if you break it down, like goosebumps and you think of "horror" gives you goosebumps.

  38. thekla acha says:

    Try doing that in a different language 😂
    Im greek so some of the medical words are similar to "greek talk". But if you want to "english talk" to a person its 😵

  39. ANGELINES says:

    I was like what… It is French? 😂😂 I mean some words was actually French words or look soo alike 😂🤣

  40. Nancy Chang says:

    Please make more videos to introduce more medical secret languages, thanks!

  41. Bernadette Hynes - Cafferkey says:

    Here's a few sentences using some of the medical terms, One day I was out Ambulating and had a bad case of Orexia, Borborygmi and Xerostomia, I suddenly felt PRE Syncope and thought I might Syncope and suffer a Fracture,. An Ambulance was called and at the hospital the Doctor asked me what happened, I had Sphenopalatine Gangllioneuralgina, the Doctor said they didn't Idiopathic.

  42. John Askings says:

    Having a general familiarity with root languages, such as ancient Greek and Latin, helps make not just Medical, but all scientific "languages" easier to comprehend.

    Unfortunately, I grew up with medical issues that have continued and broadened in adulthood. One thing I do to ease my anxiety when something comes up is that I research the heck out of it. You can pick up a great deal if you do that for 30 years! For example, I fell straight down on my knee, hurting it pretty badly. I went to the Orthopedic Urgent Care the next day because the swelling wasn't responding to NSAIDs and RICE. They took an x-ray and did an MRI. The doctor pointed out an area below my patella in the MRI saying, "This hematoma is which the swelling isn't going down. You just need to rest it for a couple of weeks and then see if you need physical therapy."

    I looked at him for a moment , looked at the MRI, then back to him. "Since the injury is within 48 hours, you should be able to aspirate the hematoma. Also, is the patella in the right spot? It distinctly looks far left of center."

    He asked me to hold on for a few moments. When he came back, he had another physician with him… apparently he was the orthopedist's PA! Nothing against PA's, I promise, but this slipped by the radiologist as well! Anyhow, the specialist did a physical exam, looked at the pictures, and reset my knee cap and drained the hematoma after making sure it was no longer bleeding. After everything, the doctor asked me, "You've been through the ringer, haven't you?" I responded, "I redefined idiopathic." He blinked before laughing. Of course, they had given me demerol before setting the patella, so I was a bit goofy. LOL

  43. Polina Krasnopolskaya says:

    To me the medical terms sounded like the blabber of a person who is high on something. 😂😂😂

  44. havenly shamblin says:

    Love your smile and intrisiqe light.

  45. Monica Jordan says:

    I have heard a doctor say a term called corrpumale

  46. Kurt Zivelonghi says:

    atelectasis. That happened to me in thehospital.

  47. DoSo says:

    Okay I’m using the word ”Ambulate” to sound smart now.

  48. Kayla Patek says:

    How do you differentiate the ophthalmology terms like: nystagmus, strabismus, etc? I have nystagmus and other eye issues from being a premiee

  49. Maya Watts Xx says:

    Hi! I am 11 years old and my dream job since I was 2 was to be a doctor. I have just found your channel a few months ago and I have loved it ever since! Please keep making these videos!

  50. Lavender May says:

    Sounds like the Sims language

  51. Jeff Lichtman says:

    The original meaning of "ambulance" was a mobile field hospital. The word came from the French "hôpital ambulant," meaning "walking hospital." The meaning changed during the Crimean War (the original one in 1854) to mean a vehicle for carrying the wounded. This vehicle sometimes took the form of a stretcher carried by two people (again, the connection with walking).

    The root "rhino-" in rhinorrhea means "nose," and the "-rrhea" means flow. The "-ceros" in rhinoceros means "horn," thus the roots of the word mean "nose horn." The root "dia-" means through, so the roots of "diarrhea" mean "flow through." The roots of "rhinorrhea" mean "nose flow."

  52. Chelsea Hertzog says:

    I was one of those really sick kids (the kind that won the genetic lottery x3 with relatively significant rare diseases that resulted in a ton of hospitalizations and early exposure to a whole new language) and became incredibly irritated by a new doctor on the ward when I was around 8-9. The kind with horrible bedside manner, always speaking way above your head, intentionally using big words just so his ego could be stroked when someone asks what he’s talking about. Well, I was a stubborn and smart kid who never let a doctor win so when he consulted with his colleagues about my chronic “horripilation”, I waited for them to leave to look up the word (among many others) so I could throw it back in his face with shock the next time he rounded. This served me well and I graduated both high school and college at the top of my class (despite the prognosis my parents originally received that I wouldn’t make it through my teens), achieved tops scores on my SATs, GREs, and MCATs and began an MSTP at an Ivy League uni. Unfortunately, I was spending more time in patient at MGH (guessed the Ivy League yet? 😉) than in the classroom and only made it through the first 2.5 years when I began requiring multi-month hospital stays and pretty advanced supportive services. Again I beat the odds as I was told when I dropped out of my program that I was in my last few years but I’ve made it ten. So mid-thirties and bionic but still loving showing off to new doctors with my advanced understanding of the human body (especially mine) and love watching these videos made by my peers who did what I only dreamed of doing. Thanks for saving lives like mine and educating the public as you do so. Keep up these awesome videos!!!

  53. Solveig St-Juste says:

    I feel like I know a lot of those since in French those words are more common. Plus, I’ve visited hospitals more than I’d like to admit. Not only for me though. And I also read lots of medical stuff

  54. Wai Walker says:

    In the end wether you are a doctor, nurse or artist,we are just human, we die one day.we are so small in the universe, seems like we don’t matter to this world. If we exist the universe don’t care… But I think this is awesome Doctor’s own language. Well if you are a Potterhead you will know these muggles won’t understand, Potterheads, wizards, witch and even squibs have our own language too.

  55. Courtney Jahnke says:

    Lol I am learning asl whenever I go and visit the doctor. I’ll have to chat with interpreters

  56. Daily Dose Of Random says:

    time to turn the tables and say these to the doctors

  57. Anuja Deore says:

    I'm in a problem-based learning pathway and our last case study involved a patient with "otorrhea". My friend called it ear diarrhea 😀

  58. Amina 35 says:

    Why is she so cute? Like i genuine get so happy watching her videos! her smile is definitely contagious!

  59. ARandomPiscesChild says:

    What I learned from this video:

    Be a pediatrician.

  60. Chad Higgins says:

    Ur so cute!

  61. Brooke Krabben says:

    I have adolescent idiopathic scoliosis and when my doctor said that I had absolutely no idea what he was talking about😂

  62. pwcorgi2000 says:

    More doctors kinda need to be like you. I've only had one doctor that I was somewhat comfortable talking to.

  63. Méabh _ 1357 says:

    I have Anorexia nurvosa and it’s so annoying especially when you have a feeding tube (like me)

  64. Eric Taylor says:

    Watching the Twilight Zone can give you a case of horripilation.

  65. Eric Taylor says:

    The term "ambulance" comes from the term "ambulating". Think about the fact that an ambulance is medical care that moves, and you can see where the term ambulance comes from. An ambulance can be seen as a mobile hospital.

  66. Eric Taylor says:

    "Idiopathic" is when your doctor is an idiot.

  67. Md Modassirul Islam says:

    This reminds me of Grey's episode. There was this patient to whom the doctor explained the stuff in the medical language for like a minute. And then the patient asks… "In English Please?"😂

  68. Viki Quigg says:

    Super late to this video haha but only just found this channel. I do this as a psychology student. I used to think how do people so easily talk about Freud vs Yung and Gestalt therapy vs ACT. As well as things like the difference between oppositional defiance disorder and anti-social personality disorder. Now I just discuss it with my colleagues like it's normal…. Super weird.

  69. evagelia kuriakopoulou says:

    i knew most of them already because im from greece and most of those words are actual greek words

  70. Chantal Cisneros Blanco says:

    I memorized these in one night so i can sound ccooler lol 😝

  71. Kimmy Vee says:

    Hahaha I didn’t know there was a medical term for brain freeze 😂😂😂

  72. yelorsirhc says:

    When the whole room I spinning…. Vodka

  73. Venessa Plays54 says:

    I’m not even doctor however I’m involved in agency that supports people with developmental delays and autism who there families can’t handle and I often say the medical terms for things when I want to say the English . The nurses at my grandmas long term care home hate me because I always know there medical terms

  74. Sean Watts says:

    I sometimes walk down the hallway hearing doctors and nurses talking in medical terminology. Since I've been around doctors and hospitals for 37 years and took medical technology as my first college class, I think to myself "I wonder what they would do if they knew that I understand some of what they are saying?"

  75. Jen C says:

    I love the one for brain freeze!!!

  76. indian says:

    So much informative video,,,thank you 👍

  77. Matt says:

    brain.exe has failed

  78. Project Garage -Matt Henick says:

    Do you mind if I ask how old you are? You look so young to be a Med resident. Don’t take that the wrong way. You can tell that you are super smart.

  79. 1111atreides says:

    Can't find the right clip, but when he tells the security that his "patient" has stomach cramps is so funny!!!

  80. Shani Mdr says:

    Hy. What is the meaning of posteriel GRl. Plz

  81. Jordan Zanetis says:

    Trigeminal neuralgia :[

  82. Mohamed samsudeen says:

    Wingardium levios😂

  83. Godush Hellas says:

    They only ones that maybe wont have a problem understanding those terms are Greek people 😀

  84. Nick The Music Snob says:

    Raise your hand if you thought the walking one was ridiculous.

  85. Nick The Music Snob says:

    Can I call someone an idiopath for not knowing what caused their chief complaint?

  86. Bobby Adams says:

    This kind of reminds me of what one of my head paramedic instructors told us.
    Explain it to doctors and to medical staff in appropriate medical terms.
    Explain it to everyone else at the 8th grade level.
    If you cannot explain it at the 8th grade level, then you do not fully understand the subject.

  87. Chesseski says:

    My doctor once said my face was asymmetric to one of here colleges after i had my cheek broken in a fight. She never really told me straight to my crooked face what it meant, but since I'm better with words then in a brawl I knew.. >:(

  88. Gregor Novak says:

    what is the one for fluid under the skin celu celu ….cant think of it …cellulitis??

  89. DSLRDOCTOR says:

    I am an MD in europe. We usually use the term rhinorrhea for CSF leak from the nose.

  90. Alondra Mulero says:

    I only Know Fracture and Anorexia.

  91. Sven Reuser says:

    2:30 it’s ambulating because the latin word for walk is ambulare 🙂

  92. Biscuit Beef says:

    As a sophomore in high school who wants to go into the medical field learning Latin seems it will come in handy. Ambulating is walking which in lain is Ambulo. Literally the exact same almost.

  93. Gary Cameron says:

    Rhinorrhea. Diarrhea for the nose. That's exactly what it is. The suffix "rrhea" means to run or something similar. Gonorrhoea Running of the gonads…… You're welcome

  94. XtremeMAX says:

    yea but what about your handwriting

  95. grandmahugzarebestforhearts Idrizow says:

    Sounded smart? You are smart

  96. Us Yadav says:

    This video helps me for my medical entrance exam… Thanks a lot Dr

  97. Us Yadav says:

    Mam will you please tell what's Philadelphia collar??

  98. monteWtf lul says:

    "-emia meaning presence in blood" everybody has gotta heard that one on youtube

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