clinical devices
Clinical Terminology Dictionary for Beginning
International and U.S. Health Care Providers



This Dictionary began as a supplement to the free Coursera course, “Clinical Terminology for International and U.S. Students” in the Fall of 2013. This web site is designed for beginning international and U.S. students who need to understand terms, abbreviations and acronyms in everyday use in U.S. clinical settings. It is a practical quick reference site as opposed to one for scholarly work.  Use this site to quickly identify the terms you hear or see while involved in clinical practice.

This dictionary is not intended to be comprehensive.  It is limited to terms commonly encountered during the first four months of clinical experience. Students are encouraged to supplement their knowledge of terms by referencing  Medline Plus , mediLexicon, texts or journal articles. 

This dictionary will permit you to search on clinical terms and see and hear the items, read their definitions and understand their use in the context of a sentence. You may use the "Search Dictionary" menu on the left without logging in. However, we encourage you to register and login so you can participate in the development and updating of this Clinical Dictionary.

This Dictionary provides a facility for searching on both English and non-English clinical terms and abbreviations. For more information about entering and using of non-English terms, click here.

If you are a practicing clinical professional, we encourage you to participate by adding new terms or reviewing previous entries. To do either, you will need to register and provide your professional credentials. You can also edit your credential description by clicking on Your Account after you login.

This web site uses the most current web technology. Please make sure you are using an up-to-date browser. Also, while the web site functions well on most browsers and platforms, there are some audio problems using Android phones and tablets unless you are using the Firefox browser.

If you are interested in participating in the further development of the web site, we still have several volunteer positions open including Associate Editors for Languages and Contents. If you are interested, please contact

We have experienced some difficulty with several country's firewalls. If you or a colleague are having problems reaching, we have established a mirror site of that seems to be accepted by various country's firewalls.