Academic Catalog


Foothill College Course Outline of Record

Foothill College Course Outline of Record
Heading Value
Units: 4
Hours: 4 lecture per week (48 total per quarter)
Degree & Credit Status: Degree-Applicable Credit Course
Foothill GE: Non-GE
Transferable: CSU
Grade Type: Letter Grade Only
Repeatability: Not Repeatable

Student Learning Outcomes

  • The Student will be able to employ medical terminology accurately when describing anatomical structure and function, pathological conditions, laboratory tests, and clinical procedures.
  • The student will be able to identify, spell, and define roots, prefixes, suffixes, and abbreviations that are used to make medical terms.


Introduction to medical terminology as used in the health professions. Provides opportunities for practical application of medical terminology and further development of skills in analyzing components of medical terms and building a medical vocabulary applicable to specialties of medicine. Course content includes anatomical and physiological terminology; basic structure, prefixes, suffixes; combining forms; abbreviations, clinical procedures, laboratory and diagnostic tests related to each body system.

Course Objectives

The student will be able to:
A. divide words into component parts.
B. recognize basic combining of forms, suffixes, and prefixes.
C. understand meanings of medical terminology.
D. understand basic organization and complexity of the body.
E. identify location and function of major body organs.
F. recognize and recall Greek and Latin prefixes, suffixes and combining forms.
G. apply rules to build medical terms from Greek and Latin word parts.
H. analyze/decode medical terms to derive definitions.
I. spell word parts and terms correctly.
J. recognize and define medical abbreviations.
K. use rules to build common plural forms of medical terms.
L. examine the medical record, and its various reports, abbreviations, and symbols.
M. distinguish differences between body planes and cavities, directional and positional terms.
N. identify common disorders and their associated symptoms for each body system.
O. categorize common diagnostic procedures, laboratory tests, and abbreviations associated with each body system.
P. correlate medical word parts with usage in anatomy, pathology, symptomatology, procedures, treatments, and medical specialties.
Q. analyze medical reports.
R. pronounce and spell medical terms correctly in oral and written communication.

Course Content

A. Introduction to Medical Terminology
1. Basic word structure
2. Word roots, combining forms
3. Spelling, pronunciation
4. Prefixes
5. Suffixes
B. Organization of the Body
1. Terms pertaining to the body as a whole
2. Structure: cell, tissue, organs, and systems
3. Medical specialties
C. The Medical Record
1. Medical reports
2. Abbreviations
3. Symbols
D. Additional Suffixes and Digestive System Terminology
E. For the following systems, include: structure and function; medical terminology; pathology, conditions, symptoms; diagnostic, radiographic, clinical, and surgical procedures; pharmacology and treatment; abbreviations; and medical record analyses
1. Urinary system
2. Female reproductive system
3. Male reproductive system
4. Nervous system
5. Cardiovascular system
6. Respiratory system
7. Blood system
8. Lymphatic and immune systems
9. Musculoskeletal system
10. Skin
11. Sense organs: the eye and the ear
12. Endocrine system
F. Cancer Medicine (Oncology)
G. Radiology and Nuclear Medicine
H. Pharmacology
I. Psychiatry

Lab Content

Not applicable.

Special Facilities and/or Equipment

A. When taught on campus: classroom with computer and internet access, document camera and DVD/CD player. For online work, must have access to a computer with internet.
B. When taught via Foothill Global Access: must have access to a computer with internet.

Method(s) of Evaluation

Methods of Evaluation may include but are not limited to the following:

A. Quizzes
B. Spelling tests
C. Mid-term and final examinations
D. Case study using medical information and terminology

Method(s) of Instruction

Methods of Instruction may include but are not limited to the following:

Lecture; practical application of terms; analogies/examples; pronunciation lists; threaded case study analysis; exercises requiring use of a medical dictionary; analysis of critical thinking questions; frequent quizzes and spelling tests.

Representative Text(s) and Other Materials

Chabner, Davi-Ellen. The Language of Medicine. 11th ed. Saunders, 2016.

Types and/or Examples of Required Reading, Writing, and Outside of Class Assignments

A. Quizzes (pronunciation, abbreviations, practical applications, etc.)
B. Exercise study aids
C. Writing of terms
D. Threaded case studies
E. Spelling tests
F. Exams


Biological Sciences, Dental Technology, Diagnostic Medical Technology, Emergency Medical Technologies, Health, Nursing, Pharmacy Technology, Radiological Technology, Respiratory Technologies