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Medical Database—version 5

Welcome to version 5 (v.5) of the Dictionary of Modern Medicine database, (DMMD) a dictionary for physicians, medical students and advanced health professionals. Version 5 is comprised of 8 subdatabases with over 55,000 definitions, making it the 5th largest major medical dictionary in English and the largest free one. To download and use v.5, follow the instructions on the bottom of this page. It is currently a Mac/iOS-only resource. 

The 4th largest major medical dictionary is Mosby’s Medical Dictionary, which has 56,000 entries. In contrast to the Mosby’s, we have honed down on areas that have been ignored or poorly covered by the other major medical dictionaries (Dorland’s—124K entries, Stedman’s—112K, Taber’s—66K). And we update and add to ours every few months. The other guys update theirs every 5 years or so.

V.5 includes the following subdatabases:

  • MEDICAL ABBREVIATIONS & ACRONYMS (A&As) At nearly 22,000 entries, this is one of the largest and certainly the only physician-curated group of biomedical A&As available online. New material is added daily to the database from which v.5 derives. These A&As are obtained from professional literature ranging from peer-reviewed work to throwaway journals. 

  • GENES This subdatabase has core information (location, function, associated diseases if known, aliases and, importantly, references linked to the Genecards and Uniprot databases) on over 12,000 genes of the 30,000+ genes recognised by the HUGO. We at believe that this will prove especially useful to our audience and look forward to your feedback.

  • HEREDITARY DISEASES & SYNDROMES This subdatabase has core information (patterns of heredity, clinical findings, causative genes and proteins, aliases and references linked to the OMIM and Uniprot databases) on 6,450 inherited conditions. As with the GENES subdatabase, we believe that this will prove useful to medical students and physicians alike.

  • BRITISH MEDICINE This subdatabase contains 4,500-ish entries, is based in large part on the author’s years spent in the UK, and reflects the differences between the US systems of reimbursement and partial coverage and the universal coverage and single party payment model that defines British medical practice.

  • ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE This subdatabase defines over 3,500 terms germane to alternative and complementary health practices. The author, a pathologist, views this “field” with the jaundiced eye of a skeptic, noting most alternative modalities remain unproven at best and dangerous at worst.

  • SEXOLOGY, SUICIDOLOGY The terminology found in these two subdatabases are self-explanatory. For each, the compiler was forced to sail between the Scylla of excess and the Charybdis of paucity. 

  • OLD/RETIRED TERMINOLOGY The 5,000+ terms in this subdatabases answer, possibly for the first time in a medical lexicon, the question of what should we do with biomedical terminology that has reached the end of its useful life? Most medical dictionaries hang on to the terms far too long, then without a whimper, remove the offending dinosaur from subsequent editions. We feel that those doing library research in older publications still need definitions of retired terminology, hence…

We feel that the DMMD will become your “go-to” place for succinct definitions in the above areas. We’re releasing the DMMD free of charge to all users, but ask that you register, so we can give you a ‘heads up’ when updates become available (version 6 is already in the works). Your particulars will not be shared with (annoying) third parties.

Version 5 can be downloaded directly to your Mac NMTD 2.0v5; for iOS devices (iPhone, iPad), you’ll need to first download Filemaker Go For both formats, the user name is User; the password is user (they are case sensitive). 

The Windows formatted version is under development. Filemaker does not support Android devices. Once we procure sponsorship, the data will be accessible on all devices. 

When you find a term of interest, you can either (1) copy and paste it into your notes or, if the definition is big, (2) email yourself the entire definition. And if that’s not enough, you can google it right from the page.

Please ignore the typo about acetaminophen, it’s already been corrected and will be gone by v.6.

Coming soon (in the March 2019 edition): more genes and a new subdatabase…stay tuned

Best regards, JC Segen, MD,

20 January 2019

Carle Place, NY

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