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Medical Jargon

Medical jargon serves several purposes.  It identifies the specific issue, disease, or malady in which the physician is discussing in abbreviated and concise terms and it provides a sense of privacy among professionals when speaking around non-medical personnel.  An author explains medical jargon as follows: “This linguistic separation between doctors and patients allows conversations to go on at the bedside that are unintelligible to the patient”.  Therefore, medical jargon is seen as a valuable asset to the medical profession while it isolates the layman from the severity or reality of the situation.  Medical JargonBut what kind of effect does this isolation have on the doctor towards his patients?  According to an author, the jargon’s important function is, “to help doctor’s maintain some distance from their patients.  By formulating a patient’s pain and problems into a language that the patient doesn’t even speak, I suppose we are in some sense taking those pains and problems under our jurisdiction and also reducing their emotional impact”.

The argument for the reduction of impact on the doctor of the patients condition is a viable one considering what doctors must deal with on a daily basis.  The constant pain and discomfort, illness and death that a physician must address is certain to weigh on the psyche of even the most apt medical professional.  It can not be easy to watch an ill patient that a physician has come to know over time deteriorate.  Protection from this depressing scenario is wise and necessary. 

Medical jargon also provides a physician with a sense of camaraderie with other physicians, which helps in the reduction of stress.  According to an author, “The special languages contribute to a sense of closeness and professional spirit among people who are under a great deal of stress”.  Some medical jargon has a humorous note to help alleviate the stress of particularly difficult subjects such as death.   An example would be “C.T.D.” in reference to “He is C.T.D.” or circling the drain, a euphemism for death.

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