Skip navigation

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

URL of this page:
Previous Page
Next Page

Abbreviations—Part 2 of 2

Your doctor gives you a prescription. It says b-i-d. What does that mean?

When you get the prescription, the bottle says, "Twice a day." Where is b-i-d?

B-i-d comes from the Latin " bis in die " which means twice-daily dosage.

Sometimes medical words really ARE a foreign language!

Getting creative with shortcuts. To test the function of your thyroid gland, your doctor may order two tests.

She's written T3 and T4. What's are these?

  • T3 stands for triiodothyronine. Tri is Greek for three.
  • T4 stands for tetraiodothyronine or thyroxine. Tetra is Greek for four.

Which would you rather write?

Your doctor might order an electrocardiogram, a test that measures electrical waves from your heart.

He might write EKG on the prescription pad. Why is electrocardiogra abbreviated E-K-G ?

It is to make sure that you get a heart test instead of a brain test called an electroencephalogram, which is written as EEG. That could look like ECG if the doctor wrote it in a hurry.

Try a quiz on things covered so far with quiz #4, See What You Know Now or proceed to the next chapter Learn More.

Previous Page
Next Page