Medicalization Match-It

January 6th, 2009 | Sources: PLoS Medicine, TJOLS


A recent study from McMaster University revealed that medicalized terms carry a weightier, more serious connotation than corresponding lay terms for the same condition, but only if they had recently entered the lexicon.

How good are you at deciphering ridiculous medical jargon? Let’s find out!

Match the normal words on the left with the fancy ones on the right. Note that the medical terms corresponding to the normal words 1 to 8 had, according to the McMaster scientists, entered the lexicon years hence, so they don’t carry a more ominous connotation.

It’s the medicalized terms for 9-16 that are the troublemakers.

Normal words                          Medicalized terms
1. High blood pressure                a. Hypercortisolism
2. Lou Gehrig’s disease               b. Hypertrichosis
3. Stroke                                           c. Erectile dysfunction disorder
4. Gall bladder disease                d. Seborrheic dermatitis
5. Sore throat                                 e. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
6. Cushing’s disease                      f. Myocardial infarction
7. Celiac disease                            g. Hypertension
8. Heart attack                               h. Pharyngitis
9. Impotence                                  i. Gluten enteropathy
10. Male pattern baldness           j. Androgenic alopecia
11. Chronic fatigue syndrome  k. Myalgic encephalomyelitis
12. Skin tags                                    l. Cerebrovascular accident
13. Excessive sweating              m. Gastroesophageal reflux
14. Dandruff                                   n. Cholecystitis
15. Impotence                              o. Hyperhydrosis
16. Excessive hairiness             p. Acrochordon

Answers: 1-g, 2-e, 3-l, 4-n, 5-h, 6-a, 7-I, 8-f, 9-c, 10-j, 11-k, 12-p, 13-0, 14-d, 15-c, 16-b

Where do you fit?

Number Correct   Your Title
16                                   Einstein
14-15                             Ivy League
12-13                             Specialist
10-11                             Med Student
8-9                                 Politician
<8                                  Wall Street


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