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The Ultimate Medical Terminology Study Guide

The Ultimate Medical Terminology Study Guide

Whether you're studying for an upcoming exam or just trying to brush up on your medical terminology, we've put together the ultimate study guide complete with definitions, flash cards, and a comprehensive quiz  so you can assess your knowledge at your own pace!

Common Medical Terminology

Learning the proper medical terminology is fundamental to being able to function efficiently and effectively when working in the industry. While there are hundreds of prefixes, suffixes, and terms used in the medical field, we are covering the most common among them to help you nail down those key terms that you'll need the most.

We have laid out short descriptions of the systems of the human body and the most used prefixes to streamline the process. Once you feel you've studied these enough, take advantage of the flashcards we've created to solidify your knowledge. Afterward, take the quiz at the bottom of this page and see what you need to focus more on.

Systems of the Human Body

The human body is made up of a network of organ systems, each with their own primary functions, that work together to make up a complete organism. Knowledge of each of these systems is key to understanding medical terminology as it relates to each specific part of the body.


The cardiovascular system consists of the heart, blood, and blood vessels and works to circulate oxygenated blood throughout the body.


The endocrine system is a set of glands that works to transmit hormones directly through the cardiovascular system to be carried to specific organs.

Major endocrine glands include the pituitary gland, pineal gland, pancreas, ovaries, testes, parathyroid gland, thyroid gland, adrenal glands, and hypothalamus.


The gastrointestinal system consists of the esophagus, mouth, stomach, small and large intestines, gonads, and pancreas.

Its primary purpose is to break down food into smaller components until they can be absorbed into the body, providing nutrients.


The integumentary system is intended to shield the body from damage by waterproofing, cushioning, and protecting deeper tissues. Its comprised of the skin, glands in the skin, hair, and nails.

It also functions to excrete wastes, regulate temperature, and house the sensory receptors to detect pain, pressure, sensation, etc.


The lymphatic system of the human body functions alongside the circulatory system and is a key part of the body's immune system.

It is made up of a network of lymphatic vessels that carry clear lymphatic fluid including the tonsils, spleen, and thymus.


The body's muscular system consists of, you guessed it, muscles and tendons. Its purpose is to allow movement, maintain posture, and circulate blood throughout the body.

Together with the skeleton, it comprises the musculoskeletal system which is, overall, responsible for movement.


The nervous system is responsible for coordinating actions and transmitting signals to different locations around the body. It is primarily made up of the brain, spinal cord, nerves, ganglia, and sensory organs.

Made up of two primary components, the central and peripheral nervous systems, this part of the body possesses a unique type of cell referred to as the "neuron."


The reproductive system of the human body is made up of sex organs that work together for the purpose of reproducing. This particular system differs dramatically between male and female, unlike other systems throughout the body, and is made up of ovaries, uterine tubes, uterus, and vagina in females; urethra, penis, testes, ducts, and prostate for males.


The respiratory system functions to take in oxygen from the environment and expound carbon dioxide, oxygenating the blood for circulation. Its made up primarily of the nose, larynx, trachea, pharynx, lungs, and bronchi.


The sensory system is made up of the eyes, ears, nose, receptors in the skin, and mouth. Its technically part of the nervous system and is responsible for sending environmental information to the sensory receptors of the brain.


The skeletal system forms the central structure of the human body is the foundation on which all other systems are based. Its comprised of the bones, axial and appendicular skeletons, and joints.


The urinary, or renal, system of the body is composed of the kidneys, bladder, ureters, and urethra and is intended to eliminate waste from the body, regular blood volume and pressure, and control electrolyte and metabolite levels.

Medical Terminology Quiz & Flashcards

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Although the answers to this quiz are on this page, going back and looking while during the quiz is only really a disservice to yourself.

We highly encourage that you try to take the entire quiz on your own to see where you need focus more on from this point forward. Good luck!

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