Cover image for The American heritage Stedman's medical dictionary.
The American heritage Stedman's medical dictionary.
Publication Information:
Boston : Houghton Mifflin, [2002]

Physical Description:
xxxiii, 923 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Electronic Access:
Publisher description

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Central Library R121 .A53 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



The American Heritage(R) Stedman's Medical Dictionary is an important new reference work for everyone concerned with medicine and health care today, including those working in the fields of insurance, law, and allied health. It combines the professional, technical, and scientific expertise of the well-known Stedman's medical publications with the best-selling features of The American Heritage(R) dictionaries. Important features include: more than 45,000 entries, including general and specialized medical terms and essential terms from related scientific areas such as biology and biochemistry; strict alphabetical arrangement of entries, following The American Heritage(R) Dictionary, Third Edition, for ease of use; clear, complete, and accurate definitions that professionals can rely on, written in language that nonspecialists can understand; thousands of new words, from acupressure to zalcitabine, selected from the American Heritage(R) database and from citations drawn from current print sources.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

This spinoff of Stedman's Medical Dictionary (Williams & Wilkens, 1990) contains 45,000 entries and 100 drawings and diagrams. Syllabication is indicated with boldface dots followed by phonological pronunciation. Three types of cross-references are included: synonymous, variant (for variant forms that appear more than 10 entries from the primary form), and symbols. Boldface guide words at the top of each double-page spread indicate first and last entries. Multiple definitions of terms are numbered sequentially, proceeding from the most common to the most technical. Appendixes provide black-and-white drawings of the various systems of the human body, a table of measurement, a metric conversion chart, the food pyramid, an RDA chart, and a first aid guide for burns. The editors' goal is to provide a medical dictionary for a general audience and, to this end, there are variations from the standard medical dictionary format. The major difference is that there are main entries for terms that would appear as subentries in a medical dictionary. For example, specific diseases and syndromes appear as main entries. As an accommodation to users who are used to the traditional subentry method, there is a subentry index. Whenever possible, terms familiar to the nonspecialist are used (white blood cell instead of leukocyte) but for the most part definitions are essentially the same as those used in Stedman's. In some instances the Stedman's definition is written in simpler language. The arrangement of entries will certainly make this dictionary easier to use for those unfamiliar with medical dictionaries, but the definitions still use standard medical terminology. This serviceable dictionary will be useful to the educated layperson, professionals in allied health fields, transcriptionists, and paralegals. At long last, the most recognized name in quotation books is again available in electronic form. Ever since being replaced on Microsoft Bookshelf by The Columbia Dictionary of Quotations, Bartlett's has not been available on CD-ROM. This disc contains all the quotations from the sixteenth edition, along with multimedia features, including "262 author pictures, 41 sound files . . ., 378 still images of art . . . and 19 video clips." These multimedia items do not simply illustrate quotations that appear in the printed work but are "images, sounds and recorded moments of history that are familiar reference points in common culture today." The Windows version was used for this review; a Macintosh version is due this month. The user may select either "minimum" installation (everything is run off the CD) or "program" installation, where some program files are copied onto the hard drive. Just over 100K are taken for the minimum installation, and some 8MB for the program installation. The minimum installation was not without a hitch, bringing up an "Application Execution Error" message. The program installs the command line D:BARTLETT.EXE in the properties box, when in fact it should have one slash rather than two. The program offers an attractive user interface. The main menu offers three choices for searching: "Bartlett's" (author and keyword), "Select Quotations" (multiple access points), and "Media Timeline" (multimedia elements by date). Like its printed counterpart, the work is arranged in chronological order by author's name. Quotations are arranged on the left side of the screen, with the source on the right. All footnotes from the printed work are present. Some notes contain hyperlinks to other quotations or multimedia items. The Bartlett's search option allows one to search by author's name using a scrolling list or perform a keyword search for words, phrases, or date. Boolean operators may be included. Thus, searching miles AND go AND sleep will retrieve Frost's lines from "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening." The Select Quotations option features the most powerful search tools. Here, one may search by topic, author, date, keyword, source, and media, selecting elements from any or all categories with a Boolean AND implied between categories and a Boolean OR implied within. Thus, one may search for Shakespeare, and specify the keywords love or lovers. Truncation is not allowed, however; the user must select all individual words to search from scroll lists. The topic search has nine categories (such as Money and Wealth) and 33 subcategories (Money's Effect, Prosperity, Poverty). With the author search, one may select gender, profession, and region the author lived in. The Media Timeline option simply allows one to scroll through all the multimedia features, which run the gamut from photographs of cave paintings to a clip of the O.J. Simpson car chase. Many of the clips (such as John F. Kennedy's inaugural address) have long been standard fare on CD-ROM encyclopedias. The multimedia additions to Bartlett's cause some problems, particularly with hyperlinks, since they are not explained. Some are immediately clear, such as the link from Da Vinci's Mona Lisa to Marcel Duchamp's L.H.O.O.Q. (where he drew a mustache on the famous painting). But the connection between Manet's painting Luncheon on the Grass to Rubens' The Judgement of Paris is not obvious. A search in the Select Quotations option on the keyword cowboy retrieves an excerpt from Rossini's Overture to William Tell. Patrons who remember the Lone Ranger series will understand; young users may miss the allusion. The other major limitations to this CD-ROM are the inability to print from within the program (one must highlight text and paste to the clipboard, with a limit of one page at a time) and the inability to copy any multimedia elements. There is also no way to download. Bartlett's represents the second major stand-alone CD-ROM devoted to quotations, following Gale's Quotations [RBB My 15 95], which features more than 117,000 quotations (compared with Bartlett's 22,000) but which costs $400. The Columbia Electronic Dictionary of Quotations [RBB My 15 94] and The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations & Modern Quotations [RBB O 1 94], both of which feature fewer quotations, are on floppy disk and are competitively priced. Notwithstanding some of the shortcomings of this disc, libraries will not be able to resist having Bartlett's available on CD-ROM at a price on par with the print version. (Reviewed Feb. 15, 1996)

Choice Review

The publishers of American Heritage Dictionary have issued an interesting combination reference dictionary aimed at general readers as well as professionals in medical and related fields. Using some terms from Stedman's Medical Dictionary, the editors have compiled a "technically accurate" dictionary that is written in a style not as complex as Stedman's. Although this new dictionary contains more than 45,000 entries "in all areas of medicine, health, and allied fields," it is only half the size of the most recent Stedman's (26th ed., 1995) and not nearly so comprehensive. The audience for this new dictionary would include medical transcriptionists, receptionists, secretaries, administrative assistants, general office workers, and those unfamiliar with medical terminology, but medical students, residents, and physicians would prefer the more technical and precise definitions found in the 26th edition. A special subentry index assists the reader in finding groups of words under basic terms such as "virus," "syndrome," "disorder," "muscle," and "vein." Biographical entries, illustrations, charts, and tables are found throughout. Recommended, but not for specialists. J. M. Coggan University of Florida

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