Specialties & Topics
- Arthritis/Rheumatic Disease
- Breast Cancer
- GERD/Peptic Ulcers
An ongoing dialogue on HIV/AIDS, infectious diseases,
April 15th, 2016
Mystifying Abbreviations on Daily Medical Rounds
I am currently attending on the inpatient medical service — always a treat, and a great learning experience for me each year. Aside from the refresher on inpatient general medicine — hey, no amount of repetition is too much when it comes to working up hyponatremia — I’m also fascinated by the steady proliferation of abbreviations and acronyms, bits of absurd sounding non-words or letters that sprout like weeds in the conversations and notes of these fine young doctors.
Below a select list of some of the commonly used terms bandied about by our skillful interns and residents. Some are nationally used, others are just local-isms that are highly relevant for our hospital’s patient population.
- BMP — not to be confused with BNP, which also wasn’t in circulation when I was a resident (because it wasn’t available), but is now pretty established
- G and G — originally I thought it was GNG, but it’s not.
- TTP — not the hematologic disorder
- RUCKUS — at least that’s how it’s spoken, as in making a lot of noise (a ruckus), but (hint) not spelled that way.
Note that none of these abbreviations or acronyms was in circulation when I was a house officer, but of course that was some time ago (ahem), so that’s not surprising. What’s remarkable is that many of them weren’t even used much last year, showing the remarkable fluidity of medical language, and ensuring an unending supply of confused medical students and gray-haired doctors.
So how many of them do you know? Please offer some guesses in the comments section. Upfront warning — the degree of difficulty is highly variable, and using the google machine (or even UpToDate) may not help.
DAILY CARTOONclick to enlarge
(Installed the cartoon widget so I can highlight that brilliant cartoon at the top of the post.)