Medical Slang

An extremely accurate stereotype of medics is that we talk in abbreviations. After two years of Med school I just can’t help it. I have been damaged beyond repair and cursed to speaking in letters.

Here are some of my favourite new abbreviations from the wards:

  • DNA- if a patient has DNAed, they Did Not Attend their appointment (like the nucleic acid)
  • TWOC- let’s TWOC this patient = Trial WithOut Catheter (do not confuse for twerk)
  • CABG- pronounced cabbage- Coronary Artery Bypass Graft (this one got me the first few times I heard it. I used to always read it as the letters out loud but apparently we prefer veg.)

It’s like a whole different language and it makes reading through medical notes a decoding activity. First you’ve got to get past the handwriting (some doctors are better note writers than other- I’m somewhere in the middle), and then you’ve got to figure out what all the letters mean. Oh, and the doodles. Don’t forget the doodles. They mean things too.








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