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July 10, 1996

Current Med Talk: A Dictionary of Medical Terms, Slang and Jargon

Author Affiliations

Dayton, Ohio

JAMA. 1996;276(2):163-164. doi:10.1001/jama.1996.03540020085037

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For the medical practitioner, investigator, or writer, standard medical dictionaries have some serious shortcomings. They devote as much space to the established and the familiar as to the brand-new and the arcane. They say too little about recent discoveries, developments, and trends, and they say it too late. Joseph C. Segen's Current Med Talk, which began life as an electronic database to help the author study for pathology boards, is intended to complement, not supplant, conventional medical dictionaries. It is a kind of encyclopedia of contemporary medical concepts and their terminology, emphasizing definitions or explanations of terms that have not yet appeared in other reference works and giving proportionately more space to hot or fashionable topics.

The distribution of material is slightly weighted in favor of histopathology and pathophysiology, but molecular biology, medical imaging, general clinical medicine, and political, legal, and fiscal aspects of medicine are well represented. Nearly half