Words matter. At its best, etymology gives us insight not only into the origins of words, but why they remain so important today, especially in medicine, where we’ve been accruing jargon for millennia. In this episode, we’re delving into four specific words — doctor, cerebrovascular accident, rounds, and zebras. And along the way, we’re going to discuss pre-historical pastoralists on the Eurasian steppes, medieval universities, Octagonal air-ventilated chambers in 19th century Baltimore, and of course, early 21st century sitcoms.
- OSLER W. THE NATURAL METHOD OF TEACHING THE SUBJECT OF MEDICINE. JAMA. 1901;XXXVI(24):1673–1679. doi:10.1001/jama.1901.52470240001001
- Fair, A 2014, ‘A Laboratory of Heating and Ventilation: The Johns Hopkins Hospital as experimental architecture, 1870–90’, The Journal of Architecture, vol. 19, no. 3, pp. 357-81.
- Engelhardt E. Apoplexy, cerebrovascular disease, and stroke: Historical evolution of terms and definitions. Dement Neuropsychol. 2017 Oct-Dec;11(4):449-453. doi: 10.1590/1980-57642016dn11-040016. PMID: 29354227; PMCID: PMC5770005.
- Coupland AP, Thapar A, Qureshi MI, Jenkins H, Davies AH. The definition of stroke. J R Soc Med. 2017 Jan;110(1):9-12. doi: 10.1177/0141076816680121. Epub 2017 Jan 13. PMID: 28084167; PMCID: PMC5298424.
- An Updated Definition of Stroke for the 21st Century
- Ralph L. Sacco, MD, MS, FAHA, FAAN, Co-Chair, Scott E. Kasner, MD, MSCE, FAHA, FAAN, Co-Chair, Joseph P. Broderick, MD, FAHA, Louis R. Caplan, MD, J.J. (Buddy) Connors, MD, Antonio Culebras, MD, FAHA, FAAN, Mitchell S.V. Elkind, MD, MS, FAHA, FAAN, Mary G. George, MD, MSPH, FAHA, Allen D. Hamdan, MD, Randall T. Higashida, MD, Brian L. Hoh, MD, FAHA, L. Scott Janis, PhD, Carlos S. Kase, MD, Dawn O. Kleindorfer, MD, FAHA, Jin-Moo Lee, MD, PhD, Michael E. Moseley, PhD, Eric D. Peterson, MD, MPH, FAHA, Tanya N. Turan, MD, MS, FAHA, Amy L. Valderrama, PhD, RN, and Harry V. Vinters, MD on behalf of the American Heart Association Stroke Council, Council on Cardiovascular Surgery and Anesthesia, Council on Cardiovascular Radiology and Intervention, Council on Cardiovascular and Stroke Nursing, Council on Epidemiology and Prevention, Council on Peripheral Vascular Disease, and Council on Nutrition, Physical Activity and Metabolism
- Harrison F, Roberts AE, Gabrilska R, Rumbaugh KP, Lee C, Diggle SP. A 1,000-Year-Old Antimicrobial Remedy with Antistaphylococcal Activity. mBio. 2015;6(4):e01129. Published 2015 Aug 11. doi:10.1128/mBio.01129-15
- Furner-Pardoe J, Anonye BO, Cain R, Moat J, Ortori CA, Lee C, Barrett DA, Corre C, Harrison F. Anti-biofilm efficacy of a medieval treatment for bacterial infection requires the combination of multiple ingredients. Sci Rep. 2020 Jul 28;10(1):12687. doi: 10.1038/s41598-020-69273-8. PMID: 32724094; PMCID: PMC7387442.
- American Heritage Dictionary of Indo-European Roots, third edition, 2011
- Oxford English Dictionary Online
- Johnson S, Dictionary. Retrieved online: https://johnsonsdictionaryonline.com/doctor-noun/
- Riva MA. No renaissance for doctors in Shakespeare’s plays. BMJ. 2017 May 22;357:j2223. doi: 10.1136/bmj.j2223. PMID: 28533302.