Interactive Medical Terminology Dictionary

What does “nephrolithiasis” mean? Well, you can easily find out by googling it. But learning how to decipher the greek and latin roots would mean that you would be able to figure it out without depending on Google. This dictionary I made will probably be most beneficial for med students who already use Obsidian to take notes, but it’s still a very interesting tool in my opinion.

I made a video explaining it: Interactive medical terminology dictionary using Obsidian.MD

The download link for the dictionary is in the video description. I’m not sure of the best way to share it, but I’m pretty sure I got my reddit post shadow banned because I used Megadrive, so I’m not going to link it directly. If anyone knows the best way to share the folder, that’d be great.

This was inspired by two videos:

This dictionary contains a file for each of the ~600 latin and greek roots most commonly used in medical terms. All you have to do is link to them to have a quick and accessible way of seeing how they work together to form any given medical term.

[[nephr-]]o-[[lith-]][[-iasis]] would yield you “disease of stones in the kidneys”.

The video explains the many other features and how to use them, but I’ll describe the highlights briefly:

  • There is a dataview query contained within each latin/greek root file that queries for any medical terms that derive from it. I find this useful for giving real life examples of said root so I can more easily learn it.
  • I also used dataview queries to organize the root words alphabetically so you could look up words the old-fashioned way if you wanted.
  • Idk, it’s just a dumb dictionary, nothing more to it. I just wanted to share it because I figured someone else might find it interesting.

Let me know if you have any questions or suggestions! (And drink more water, so you don’t get nephrolithiasis!)

Vault github download
Online demo vault hosted courtesy of OurBrain. Unfortunately lacks dataview functionality


Here’s a link to the vault hosted online as discussed on YouTube.

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Thanks! It seems that the dataview functionality doesn’t work, unfortunately, which really limits the power of the vault. But I really appreciate your hosting it!


Have you considered hosting it on GitHub or GitLab?

It’s stored on github if that’s what you meant: Med_Terms_dict/ at main · sewpungyow/Med_Terms_dict · GitHub

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I’m a medical interpreter in training, and a new obsidian user and definitely find this helpful.

I couldn’t understand the jargon the doctors and nurses were throwing at me, let alone translate it to the non-english speaking patient in a language where more than half the terms don’t even exist.

I was looking for an ios app or something that i can use as a reference on the fly at work, or even a physical dictionary i’ll study up on at home.

The issue is since these terms dont exists, i have to explain them rather “translate”. And while i may “get the jist” of what the doc is saying, since this is people’s health “just about” isnt good enough, so i need to have a good grasp on whats actually going on.

I am sure this will help but the sort of things im translating for is general checkups, dentistry, women’s health and prenatal. Also building a database of herbs & nootropics for better mental function.

Also came across this reddit on using obsidian for medical school, perhaps some of you might find it useful, and supplements I take for more focus-

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It might help reviewers and contributors if you uploaded the individual files instead of the ZIP file. I think the web app will allow you to drag and drop the folder on to wherever you would upload the files but I am not 100% sure. In any case thank you for uploading it there. I will take it down from my vault since it’s not as useful without dataview support.