Posted by: Leigh Ann Otte | 02/15/10

The top-10 words doctor writers should ban

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  1. […] The top-10 words doctor writers should ban (The Doctor Writer): Really valid suggestions including benign or acute. […]

  2. Would clarify your simplification of ‘incidence’. This is not a measure of how many people have something. That’s PREVALENCE. When prevalence is high, lots of people have something – like herpes type 1 (cold sores).

    Incidence is exactly what the word means – a measure of recent appearances of something. You could just as accurately spell it “incidents”. The flu is a good example. Flu incidence is high in the late fall, low in the summer.

    Sometimes incidence and prevalence reflect each other, sometimes they are directly opposite each other (counterintuitive, I know, but intellectually kinda cool although it usually means people are dying).

    So, incidence is a measure of how many of something are appearing within a certain time frame. Prevalence is how many people have something.

    An academic point, but one that seems worth noting.

    • Thank you, secretwave101. You’re right; I’ve corrected the translation. I appreciate your taking the time to point this out.

  3. It’d be nice to hear policemen simplify their language, too, instead of talking like a filed report.

    • That’s interesting, rogueresresearcher1. I haven’t read a lot of stuff written by policemen, but it makes sense. Jargon becomes second nature after a while, and you forget that other people might not know what you’re talking about. I’ve fallen into it myself–though not medical or legal jargon. 🙂

  4. Oooh, that’s a great one, Robert. Thanks for posting it.

    Leigh Ann

  5. Great list.

    How about break (as in bone) instead of fracture? I’ve told patients, more than I’d like to admit to, they have a fracture and they say “Whew. I’m glad it’s not broken.” (It means the same thing.)


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