Sunday, May 5, 2013
Most medical dictionaries that I've checked since getting into skepticism give credulous definitions of pseudomedical terms. For example, they'll say something like "acupuncture: ancient Chinese treatment that uses needles to unblock Qi flow in meridians", "homeopathy: system of medicine that treats ailments using small amounts of substances which produce the same symptoms", or "magnetic therapy: a type of therapy in which magnets are placed on the body to penetrate and correct the body's energy fields". (that last one is an exact quote from Medical Assisting: Administrative and Clinical Procedures with Anatomy & Physiology, 4e) For a while now I have been keeping an eye open for medical dictionaries which don't have this annoyance. But I finally found, completely serendipitously, Collins Dictionary of Medicine, 4th Edition, by Robert M. Youngson. I don't have my own copy yet (I was reading a friend's copy at school) so I can't give any quotes from it, but it's pretty awesome. Aside from the evidence-based approach, it also has entries on things like "ice-cream headache", so it's extra cool. Unfortunately I am having a hard time finding it for sale online. There's an ebay auction but it's ebay.co.uk so I'm not sure if I can even buy it with my ebay.com account, and then it would probably cost extra to ship it to my side of the pond. When I search Amazon for the ISBN, it comes up with Xdict of Medicine Pb by Youngson Robert M (Dec 15, 2011) (the actual book was printed in 2012) and the cover picture says Collins Dictionary of Mathematics, so I don't even know what the heck is going on there.