Saturday, February 11, 2012

Decoding Doctor Jargon

With so many acronyms floating around the world of healthcare, it’s no wonder the average patient needs a little help understanding information. Doctors can routinely used medical jargon when speaking to a patient without thinking twice. Unfortunately, some patients don’t pipe up and ask questions which can lead to misunderstandings and sometimes poor healthcare decisions.

To help you understand your doctor at your next visit, we’re helping you decode some of the most common medical terms you wish your doctor would have explained.

CBC: Complete Blood Count. This test measures several things, but most importantly looks at white blood cell count (which can be higher in the presence of a bacterial infection.)

BMP: Basic Metabolic Panel. This test includes levels of sodium, potassium, calcium, glucose and measures kidney function.

LFT: Liver Function Test. Higher than normal levels may indicate damage from infections or medications.

LDL: Low Density Lipoprotien. This is also known as bad cholesterol.

CT Scan: Computerized Tomography. This test combines a series of X-ray views taken from different angles to produce cross-sectional images of the bones and soft tissue.

MRI: Magnetic Resonance Imaging. This test uses a magnetic field and pulses of radio wave energy to make pictures of organs and structures inside the body.

PET Scan: Positron Emission Tomography. This is a unique type of imaging test that allows doctors to see how organs and tissues inside your body are actually functioning.

To find a primary care physician at GBMC for you and your family, visit

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