List of Common Medical Abbreviations and Terminology

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Wondering why you can't read what the doctor wrote on your prescription? Ever see the doctor's notes in your medical record and found peculiar abbreviations and jargon? Doctors commonly use a variety of abbreviations in order to rapidly and succinctly record information about, and give instructions to, their patients. Below is a listing of many common terms and abbreviations defined so that you can decipher those charts!


A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z


a.c.: Before meals. As in taking a medicine before meals.

a/g ratio: Albumin to globulin ratio.

ACL: Anterior cruciate ligament. ACL injuries are one of the most common ligament injuries to the knee. The ACL can be sprained or completely torn from trauma and/or degeneration.

Ad lib: At liberty. For example, a patient may be permitted to move out of bed freely and orders would, therefore, be for activities to be ad lib.

AKA: Above the knee amputation.

Anuric: Not producing urine. A person who is anuric is often critical and may require dialysis.


Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/13/2015