Medical Terminology Books for Medical And Nursing Students


The medical field has a language of its own, founded on Greco-Latin terminology. Knowing the technical medical terms forms the basis for any medical-related career. It may not be a walk in the park, and in fact, it may feel like you are learning a foreign language altogether. Fortunately, there are tools and learning tricks that you can use to make it fun. Medical terminology books are one of the handy tools. They help you to develop your system of study as they use different ways of presenting information. Furthermore, most of them come with pictures, captions, online guides, CDs and study packets.

In this article, we picked out the best books to get you through.

Quick Medical Terminology: A Self-Teaching Guide

Quick Medical Terminology features more than 250 medical terms, measurements and updated examples. What is unique about this book is that it has review exercises and self-tests for continuous self-evaluation. It builds from basic word roots and common suffixes, moves to basic anatomic terms then goes through all the body systems. In addition are names used in symptoms, diagnoses, treatment, medical statistics, pregnancy, and childbirth.


The medical terms are broken from the root, central vowels, and endings, for the reader to comprehend how the word is structured and its meaning. Each term is then accompanied by an in-depth explanation and real clinical examples. The author also has provided a pronunciation guide for each word.

The books stresses repetition a lot, and to the people with extensive experience in the medical field, it may be a bit boring. However, for a medical student, it is a big plus as it helps put the terms in memory.


The drawback of this book is that the answers are provided in the margin, making them easily visible.

Final verdict

For a student, this medical terminology book is an excellent study tool. The review tests, stressing of main points, pronunciation guides and the flashcard-like glossary all make studying very easy.

Medical Terminology for Health Professions

Medical Terminology for Health Professions simplifies the process of understanding medical terminology by focusing on the common prefixes, suffixes, and the root words. The book thus forms a foundation for learning other medical terms that a student may come along in their studies, which are not necessarily in the book. It is organized into 15 chapters, beginning with an introduction to medical terminology, then to the human body systems, diseases, and procedures, and ends with diagnostic procedures and treatments.

The book is quite captivating and holds the learners’ attention with multicultural and multigenerational photos that depict the current medical field. The authors combine learning principles and exercises like crossword puzzles, practice quizzes, and memory games to keep the mind fully engaged.


Breaks words into the root and suffix, to make it easy for the learner to understand. The practice tests are quite challenging and thought-provoking, stimulating more thought processes and intense concentration and research. The book also comes with a learning CD to complement your reading.


The accompanying CD software does not have the same order as the book, and so, it is hard to follow the two at the same time.

Final verdict

For visual learners, this an exceptional choice- the photos, color coding, flashcards and the exercises are quite resourceful. The book is comprehensive, with great illustrations and easy to follow content. It is a great pick for both beginners and advanced students.

Medical Terminology: A Living Language

Medical Terminology: A Living Languagefocuses on a step by step approach on anatomy and physiology of the human body in 14 chapters. For each body system, the authors expansively cover pathologies, diagnostic terms, treatment procedures and pharmacological terms.

Instead of focusing on memorization of medical terms, the authors center on comprehension using real-world context, exercises, and tips to achieve hands-on understanding and mastery. At an extra fee, learners can also access MyMedicalTerminologyLab, an online program with tutorials and assessments to work along with the textbook.


The body systems are well organized and easy to follow through. The content is also very descriptive, with a mix of plenty of diagrams, pictures, and examples. The organ systems are artistically displayed for long-lasting visual memory. Not to forget that the words are broken down to make it easy for all learners.


The main setback is that access to the online resource meant to be used together with the book comes with an extra charge, meaning that one has to spend more.

Final verdict

The book is beneficial, easy to understand and the tests after each section aid in self-evaluation. Although the online resource makes it more expensive, it really helps to grasp the information.

Medical Terminology for Dummies
In over 300 pages, the authors of Medical Terminology for Dummies explain tons of medical terms right from the history to the tongue-twisting diseases. In the book, you get to learn the fine details such as how the words are formed, their usage, pronunciation, and recognition. The book explains how to create and break the words into prefixes, suffixes and root words.

It uses icons to point out concrete tips and tricks to learn the terms and highlights common mistakes that students may make. The book categorizes the words according to the anatomy and physiology of the body systems, mnemonics, and diseases.


The book is well organized with brilliant and concise explanations. The book is written with some sense of witty humor to ease up the stress of learning complicated things. The quizzes, mind maps, and practice games also make learning quite interesting.


The book is quite detailed and lacks illustrations, which some learners may find less captivating.

Final verdict

Medical Terminology for Dummies is quite humorous and informative. It teaches the basics and builds up to the most complex medical terms. It explains the names in the most straightforward language for any student to comprehend. The book is fit for advanced learners as well.

Medical Terminology by David Anderson
In this book, David Anderson explains the terms in more than 200 pages. The book describes the medical terms in steps and strategies that enable the learner to understand, pronounce and memorize. It also includes tips and strategies to help the learners master the content. The words are broken into their suffixes, prefixes, and root words, just like most other terminology books. There are built-in exercises at the end of every chapter for evaluation.


The content is presented in an easily understandable format, and the questions are formulated using different styles. The author breaks up the words and stresses areas that can easily confuse a beginner. The book also gives additional resources like flashcards and practice exercises.


The unfortunate thing about this book is that the terms are not alphabetized, and there is no index for the learner to pick up a specific word quickly.


The book is brief, but it is packed with useful information. The content is simple and straightforward, in table format, color-coded and coupled with great illustrations. It does a great job in teaching the basics of medical terminology.


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