Memorizing Medical Terms

 Screen Shot 2016-08-05 at 11.01.45 AM

Medical terms are some of the hardest terms to memorize. Trying to memorize unfamiliar terms can be a challenge. It can become stressful to try to memorize word that we don’t hear everyday. I have a great method that might help you memorize medical terms.


Instead of trying study habits and tricks that don’t work, try this technique out and see if it helps you.

Place an image for the term you are trying to memorize. If you must, you can break the word down by syllables, and create an image for each syllable, then take the meaning of the term and turn that in to an image and connect the two.

Let’s practice this, here are a few examples using medical terms.

Suppose the term you are needing to memorize is Acapnia, which by definition, means having a lower level than normal carbon dioxide in the blood.

The first thing you need to do is create an image for the word acapnia and then create an image for the definition and mash them together to see them as one big picture.

First picture I imagine is a baseball cap being placed on top of a knee for the term acapnia. Then I create an image for the definition of the term, which is carbon dioxide, so I visualize coal or gasoline burning and on top of that image, include the first visual of the baseball cap on the knee and combine them together.

Screen-Shot-2016-05-11-at-11.31.04-AM-300x151 Screen-Shot-2016-05-11-at-11.31.56-AM-300x155

Suppose the next medical term you need to memorize is macula. Macula, by definition, means the light-sensitive tissue on the back of the eye. As we read, light is focused on our macula, and millions of cell change that light into nerve signals that tells our brain what we’re seeing. So the medical term macula needs to be turned in to a picture and for me, I think of a Big Mac from McDonald’s and it’s being eaten by Dracula, which comes from the term macula. Now we need to create a picture for the definition of macula, which by definition, means light goes in to the macula and goes out as nerve signals. So take the word macula and create an image for that and then take the definition and create an image for that as well and mash the two images together to create one big picture. See below:


This picture helps us to memorize the medical term macula.

Another medical term is octapressin, which by definition, is an ingredient that can be added to a local anesthetic to constrict blood vessels.


We take the word octapressin and turn it into an image or a visual. So I imagine an octopus and it’s pressing and then what does it do? It constricts the blood vessels. We’ve now combined the word with the definition by combining a picture of an octopus pressing down on a blood vessel.


Learning to memorize medical terms properly can save you a tremendous amount of time and stress. By adding visuals, actions or images to medical terms, you’re making it easy on yourself to remember medical terms. This style of learning has been around for hundreds of years and has proven to work.

So we just memorized three medical terms using images that appealed to us that related to the term and the definition of the term. This is an easy concept you can always apply to your learning technique. You turned the medical word into an image and then turned its definition into another image and combined the two images in to one big picture. Remember this method, when you’re trying to memorize medical words.