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Glossary of Medical Terms
A need or desire for a product or service. Price, availability and quality of the product all affect demand. Demand for health services is often difficult to assess and surveys of willingness to pay may be necessary to estimate its scope or extent.
Any factor, event, characteristic, or other definable entity that brings about change in a health condition or other defined characteristic.
The process of determining health status and the factors responsible for producing it; it may be applied to an individual, family, group or community. The diagnosis should take into account etiology, pathology, and severity of the clinical state.
Direct Observations or Performance Audits
A traditional approach for giving a firsthand assessment of skills and performance with immediate feedback to the student. The student is observed performing a complete history and examination which provides the best possible opportunity for the observer to make multiple judgments over a period of time in a variety of clinical situations. Use of observation checklists, training the raters and agreed-upon standards increase reliability and validity of these methods over the use of global rating forms which require additional resources. This approach has an advantage over most new methods.
Teaching of the individual classical medical disciplines such as anatomy, biochemistry, pathology, surgery or community medicine as separate educational building blocks. It is expected that this approach lays the foundation for contact with patients which tends to occur later, after completion of the basic science course. In this approach, it is left to the student to put together the knowledge gained in each discipline to form an overall picture of medicine.
A general term used to refer to any departure from health in which a patient suffers. It can be defined as disorder of bodily function or destructive processes in organs, organs' systems or in an organism with recognizable signs and symptoms, and in many cases a known cause. The words disease , illness and sickness are used often interchangeably but are not synonymous. Rather, whereas disease relates to a physiological or psychological dysfunction, an illness is the subjective state of a patient who feels unwell and sickness encompasses a state of social dysfunction, such as the role that the individual assumes when ill.
A scope of knowledge, skills, competencies and professional characteristics which can be combined into one cluster and should be learned during undergraduate medical studies.