1. Some words have more than one acceptable spelling. The preferred spelling of a word always appears in a dictionary as the main entry followed by the definition and subentries. Alternative spellings are not usually followed by a definition but by the preferred spelling, directing the reader back to the preferred spelling and definition.
2. In some instances, a physician attempts to spell a medical term for the transcriptionist. These spellings are often erroneous, and the transcriptionist should realize that the attempted spelling is only a starting point from which to word-search in a reference book.
3. Preferred spellings may vary among English and medical references.
Preferred Spelling Acceptable Spelling
4. Physicians frequently dictate combined forms of anatomical words and directions. When the physician's preference is not clear, it is acceptable to use either the combined form or the hyphenated form. Note that when the two hyphenated words are merged into a combined form, the spelling of the first word often changes.
Hyphenated Form Combined Form
5. Some medical words are spelled differently when their form changes.
Achilles tendon tendo Achillis
fascia lata tensor fasciae latae