Dr Google

Dr Google 

INFORMATICS, VOX POPULI

dr_googleA popular term referring to the common practice by both laypersons and healthcare professionals of using Google (verb, to google) to search for information relevant to a particular condition or medical question. 

Reference JAMA 2013; 309:1883-1884

Introduction

Introduction

This is the first completely new medical dictionary to come to the market since 1940*. It is the ONLY medical dictionary written entirely by a medical doctor and board-certified specialist. It is the first such work deployed as a database**.

*The Tabers Medical Dictionary

**Databases allow users instant access to the information contained in the dataset. It is virtually impossible to access targeted information from the electronic versions of the venerated  (Dorland’s Medical Dictionary, Stedman’s Medical Dictionary and Taber’s Medical Dictionary), precisely because they’re text-based. To access information from text-based information, a computer has the daunting task of sifting through ALL the information in the data set, a problem that doesn’t occur with relational database searches.

In reviewing the electronic version of the Dorland’s Medical Dictionary on amazon.com, on January 4, 2015, dominique johnson said, Massive amount of data without proper indexing, I thought that having it in Kindle would allow me to just type in a term in the “find” field and let the device find the entry, but that takes way longer than when i open the physical copy myself.

The Concise Dictionary of Medicine and a handful of other text-based eBooks I’ve written over the last few decades have this same indexing issue. Whilst they are available on the various eBook stores (iTunes, Kindle, Nook, etc) for those who like the text format and want them on their iPads, tablets, etc, database apps are the future of medical lexicography and as I go online with the database version of each, I expect to retire the eBook version.

I began collecting new medical terms as a hobby in 1984 during my residency in pathology at LIJ, now part of the massive North Shore-LIJ Health System on Long Island, premised on my belief that the standard medical dictionaries were losing touch with the spoken and working language of medicine.

You’ll find my musings on medical lexicography on:

A New Major Medical Dictionary

http://www.modernmedicaldictionary.com/about/a-new-major-medical-dictionary/

I went live with this website in May, 2012 and blogged 5 terms/day until I reached about 5000 entries. Most of those blogged entries have been converted to separate pages for ease of searching. These terms derive from a growing database that now has 183,283 entries*.

*The Dorland’s has less than 124,000 entries.

I’ll be making portions of the database available as iOS/Android apps…the first product, Medical Abbreviations, will be out soon…stay tuned.

Most of the blogged terms fall into one of 3 categories:

• Popular terms–e.g., champagne bottle leg, Michael Jackson syndrome(s), Mickey Mouse sign(s), bubble pattern, Sutton’s law, etc.

I’ve tried to include something for everyone, in particular as relates to the cultural savvy that doctors are expected to have vis-à-vis music, literature, the arts and the world in general. Even if you’re not in health care, the material is “edutaining”, occasionally droll…

• New biomedical terms–e.g., from genomics and molecular biology, evidence-based medicine, informatics, managed care, sport medicine, etc

• Old terms due for burial with comments on usage

I encourage the reader to look over the nearly 5000 terms now found on this website.*

*To improve the user experience, and for search engine optimisation, parts of this website have been reworked thanks to database guru and webmaster, Kent Hummel. 

Format of entries Whilst I believe the format is self-explanatory, I am biased and may be assuming too much. The following few lines are meant to explain the elements found in most of the terms blogged on this website.

Entry name bailout

•  Area of interest SURGERY

•  Definition The immediate closure…

•  Synonyms Bailout procedure, damage control  

Reference http://omim.org/entry/605462

A lexicon written in the 21st Century can’t, given the diverse sources from which its derives, escape some tongue-in-cheek and even outright comedy.

I tried to confine the jocularity to the choice of illustrations so as to not diminish the value of the work. For most terms, the illustration is on point. For others, I took liberties, such as those taken for genes–e.g., HOMER2, which got a mugshot of Homer Simpson and HIP2, which got an illustration from hipster artist Josh Agle.

Small minds, as they say, easily amused…

If you have a new term that you feel has gotten short shrift in a medical dictionary, shoot me an email at jcsegenmd@yahoo.com and I’ll add it if I agree. And feel free to back-link to this website.

The reader will note that the spelling follows that extant on the other side of the pond. Unless they change the name of the language we speak to American, orthographic principles should follow received pronunciation (Queen’s English).