Tips for Learning Medical Terminology Fast

Whether you’re a future or current medical student, you already know that memorization is crucial for passing exams. It may seem daunting, but we have put together multiple resources to help you with your medical school studies. These resources will assist you on your journey to achieving a medical school degree.

Unfortunately, there is no universal method for remembering medical terminology. However, there are helpful tips and tricks that can assist you.

1. Develop Good Study Habits

“Cramming” might have worked during high school, but it’s not going to do you much good in medical school. In fact, it might actually hurt more than help since cramming only tends to result in short-term knowledge.

Study for one hour each day. Create a routine and you will be more likely to focus. This will help you become more productive.

Discover Your Study Style

To finish medical school well, find the ways that work for you. We talked about this in our last blog. Some students respond better by writing flashcards while others might listen to recordings of lectures.

Log Off and Log Out

We cannot emphasize this enough: Keep your device away and log out of social media. You will be surprised at how much more studying you’re able to accomplish.

Set a Goal Each Time

If you try to tackle four different medical book sections at once, you’ll probably hit a wall. Instead, choose specific, related topics (e.g. urology, anatomy of the hand) that allow you to keep your brain on a single track.

2. Ask Your Instructors Questions

Write all the facts you know about Guillain Barre syndrome and appendicitis. However, this won’t help if some details are missing. Professors are there to guide your academic experience, so always be sure to consider them a valuable resource.

3. Take Excellent Notes

No one expects you to write every single item down. This takes up precious time you could be using to focus on more valuable information. Abbreviations, color coding, and.

Create Mind Maps

Developing a mind map is a great way to retain and apply information – especially for visual learners. The center of your “map” will be your main subject, connected to multiple elements. Feel free to use your artistic skills to create doodles instead of writing – or whatever else works!

Mind map

Consider Using Mnemonic Devices

Though the word might seem foreign, we’ve all used these tools in elementary school. Mnemonic devices can help us remember important information.

For example, the acronym PEMDAS can assist with equations. Likewise, the rhyme “Never Eat Shredded Wheat” can help us remember cardinal directions. And who could forget the Quadratic Formula song?

Facing a long list of terms to remember? Try creating a unique way to recall them. This could be through a song, a rhyme, or an acronym.

4. Learn Your Latin/Greek Roots

The sooner you learn Latin and Greek medical roots, the better your chances of graduating pre-med classes.

For example:

Root Word                           Definition Example
ONCO- mass / tumor                             oncology = the study of cancer

Medical terms come from old languages, so it’s easier to understand what a word means.

5. Play Games and Download Medical Apps

When faced with a massive list of medical definitions and terminologies, it’s easy to feel completely overwhelmed. That’s why it’s important to take a break from the monotony and play various online medical games whenever possible.

Here are a few of our favorite medical apps for students:

Med Calc

It’s not easy to keep all of your calculations straight. That’s why MedCalc is such an awesome affordable medical app. With more than 300 scales, formulas, and classifications, it’ll save you a lot of time.

Muscle and Bone Anatomy 3D

This app is perfect for visual learners. Every component of the human body is revealed in incredible detail and interactive bone and joint movement. Best of all, you’ll have professionally-written quizzes that provide excellent challenges.

Essential Anatomy 5

Though pricier than most apps, Essential Anatomy 5 has a near-perfect rating for its incredible capabilities. Fully 3-dimensional, this program allows you to view any anatomical structure in isolation – from nearly any angle – and combines it with quizzes. It’s no wonder that it’s the #1 most-used medical study app!


Epocrates has a big medical app with one million real medical professionals using it every day and a high rating. Always stay up-to-date with pill identification, medical dictionary, treatment guides, and ICD9 codes. Get the latest information on alternative medication too.


If you’re a student who responds well to flashcards, consider downloading Brainscape. This app lets you create and share personal flashcard decks, as well as review MCAT materials.

6. Stay Organized

Don’t write on crumpled receipts or paper unless you want to keep them. Keep your notes in one place and consider backing it up to a cloud-based network. If you’re taking a course on a specific pharmacology topic, you can review it before the next class. This will help you create a great study guide.

Consider Applying to Med School in the Caribbean

Have you considered studying medicine in the United States?

Are you put off by the long waitlists and high cost of medical school loans? Consider a top Caribbean medical school instead!

American University School of Medicine Aruba (AUSOMA) offers personalized instruction, an ultra-modern campus, and affordable courses. There is no reason not to check it out.