Medical Terminology

Medical terminology is the language spoken in healthcare environments. Understanding medical terminology is essential for efficient communication and operation between physicians, non-clinical staff and healthcare organizations. For medical coders and billers, job performance depends on fluency in medical terminology.

If you’re new to healthcare and seeking a career in medical coding and billing, you’ll benefit from taking AAPC’s online medical terminology course in conjunction with the Certified Professional Coder (CPC)® or Certified Professional Biller (CPB)® training. The medical terminology course will help you retain your coding and billing studies. It will also enhance your performance on the CPB and CPC exam, as well as ensure you can effectively communicate and succeed in the workplace.

  • Learn word components for quick mastery of countless medical terms

  • Become familiar with body systems, including structures, diseases, and medical treatments, and learn directional terms and orientations to depict anatomic locations

  • Earn 20 CEUs upon successful completion (AAPC certified members). One-time use only.

  • Strongly recommended for students planning to take the CPC, COC, CIC, CRC, or CPB online courses.

Why Take a Medical Terminology Course?

Can you name the nine divisions of the abdomen? Do you know the difference between the coronal and sagittal planes? Can you locate the dorsal and ventral body cavities? The answers to these questions are rooted in a highly specialized vocabulary.

Words like dysgeusia, gonagra, and iliopagus sound like a foreign language — almost unknowable — without a background in the life sciences or business of healthcare. But you don’t have to quit your career goals or stay in a dead-end job because the language of medicine is Greek to you.  

With a systematic and conceptual approach, AAPC’s medical terminology training course will give you a solid foundation of important healthcare vocabulary. As we break words down into building blocks and lay a framework that helps you understand new terms, you’ll see your medical language skills take off.

Who Should Take a Medical Terminology Class?

Fluency in medical terminology is a must for medical coders and billers whose essential role involves translating patient health information into medical codes.

AAPC strongly recommends the Medical Terminology Online Course for students taking the Certified Outpatient Coder (COC®) and Certified Inpatient Coder (CIC®) training courses, as well as the CPC and CPB courses. Because the language of medicine is vital to job performance, all certification exams will test your knowledge of medical terminology, including the CPC exam.

The value of this course extends beyond medical billing and coding and is equally important to students preparing for other non-clinical healthcare careers. You must be able to use medical terminology to participate in daily interactions — understanding what you read, write and discuss — whether you’re studying to become a medical records technician, medical transcriber, medical scribe, HEDIS abstractor, charge description master (CDM) analyst, cancer registrar, patient service representative, or fraud investigator.

The Medical Terminology Online Course is also valuable to people returning to healthcare after a period of absence, or for professionals transferring from a specialty to a field of medicine requiring a broader vocabulary.

You will notice that the Medical Terminology Online Course is not a prerequisite for enrolling in an AAPC coding and billing training program. That’s because professionals coming from clinical roles, such as registered nurses and physicians, for example, are already well-versed in medical terminology and do not need this or the anatomy training. The medical terminology course, however, should not be considered optional for persons without substantial familiarity with medical terminology.