Foundational Medical Knowledge

Gain a comprehensive foundation in basic medical knowledge and terminology for medical interpreting. You’ll study Greek and Latin word roots, prefixes, suffixes, combining forms, and abbreviations. You will also explore body structures, anatomical systems, pathologies, treatments, medical procedures and medical specialties in health care interpreting.


Location: Online
Duration: 3 months
Available only to students enrolled in:
Medical Translation and Interpretation Certificate

What you will learn

After completing this course, you’ll be able to do the following:

  • Describe the health care system in British Columbia
  • Use basic prefixes, suffixes and combining forms to build medical terms
  • Use common terms and abbreviations related to the major systems of the human anatomy and physiology
  • Identify human body organs and understand their functions in the context of human anatomy and physiology
  • Identify terms including symptoms, diagnosis, medications, diagnostic testing, surgeries and therapies
  • Identify diseases and disorders to interpret the information accurately in a medical setting
  • Understand health care providers’ explanations and/or instructions when interpreting for patients
  • Identify medical terminology and health issues related to culturally diverse populations

How you will learn and be evaluated

  • Prepare to spend 2–3 hours per week on coursework in addition to attending classes
  • Expect lectures, presentations, case studies and discussions
  • Participate in supervised practice sessions

You’ll be evaluated on:

  • Exams and quizzes
  • Assignments
  • Participation

To graduate with the Medical Translation and Interpretation Certificate, complete all courses with an overall grade of B– (70%).

Technical Requirements

For online courses, you will need a computer with audio and microphone that is connected to the internet. Canvas is the online system that will be used for the course. For more information and online support, visit Online Learning.