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Module: Miscellaneous Topics

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Acronyms, eponyms and abbreviations...


Peter Devitt

Department of Surgery
University of Adelaide


Medicine is all about communication. Communication between health professionals and communication with patients and the general public. Do we always make ourselves clear? Or is this form of verbal obfuscation a useful barrier when dealing with the end result of poor communication: the lawyer? This subject is illustrated through the use - or misuse - of eponyms and abbreviations. Medicine is littered with eponyms - do we need them and are they used appropriately? This case illustrates some of the challenges and some of the problems.

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