Friday, September 14, 2007

On-Line Medical Dictionaries

Just as a medical spell checker offers transcriptionists greater power and accuracy, an on-line medical dictionary can save a great deal of time and effort. Think, for a minute, which way you would prefer to look up a word:

  • Leave your position at the keyboard, reach for a heavy dictionary, and then thumb through the pages of that dictionary until you finally reach the word you are looking for.

  • Access an on-line dictionary from the National Library of Medicine by use of a "hot key" which allows you to perform an electronic search using carefully-defined parameters.

With an on-line dictionary you can do the following:

  • Type a word the way you think it should be spelled. As you type, the on-line dictionary will automatically search for an electronic match and display the appropriate definition.

  • Use computer programming wild cards like [*] or [?] to search for possible matches. For example, you could search for [esophagogastro*] or [h*spadias].

  • Use the "and/or" search commands to identify strings of text that might end up in the definition of the word you are seeking, such as "stomach" and "cramps" and "bloating."

Next: On-Line Databases

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