Health Literacy Thesaurus: Medical terms, phrases, references,
and their Plain English equivalents or definitions

P (palatable - purchase)

Step 1: Click "Next" to show the term, phrase, or reference. Step 2: Click "Next" again
to show the Plain English equivalent or definition; Repeat Steps 1 and 2. (Best viewed on Firefox or Chrome)
palatablepleasing, tasty, good
pandemic flupandemic flu, deadly flu, fast and wide-spread flu
pandemic vaccinepandemic flu vaccine
panzootica flu pandemic in animals, a deadly flu pandemic in animals, fast and wide-spread flu in animals
papulesmall red dot on your skin, skin rash
paralysiscan’t move
parameterlimit, factor, value
parasiteanimal or plant living off another animal or plant
participatetake part, join, share
passive immunitydisease protection from either mother or vaccine
pathogengerm, virus, disease-causing agent
pathogenicdisease causing
peak flow metersmall tool used to measure how fast you can blow out air
peak flowthe fastest you can blow out air
pendingcoming, until, waiting on something or someone
perforationhole
performdo, carry out, act
pericarditisheart inflammation, swelling of the tissue covering the heart
perinatal deathdeath before birth, stillborn
peripheryedge, boundary
peritoneumlining of your stomach, belly, tummy
permanentlasting, long term, forever
permitallow, let
perseverehold on, keep at, last, keep trying, not give up
persistentthere all the time, constant, doesn’t go away, not giving up
personal protective equipment (PPE)gowns, face shields, gloves, face masks, and respirators
personnelpeople, staff
perspiresweat
persuadeconvince, talk into, win over, urge
pertinentfitting, important
petechiaetiny red or purple spot on your skin, skin rash
pharmacistdruggist, drug dispenser
photosensitivesun-sensitive
physical examinationcheck-up, doctor’s appointment
physical therapistsomeone who treats pain and weakness by exercise
physical therapytreatment of pain and weakness through exercise
physiciandoctor
picacraving, dirt or clay eating, unusual appetite
pigmentationcolor
placebosugar pill
plateletblood clotting cell
pleurisylung inflammation
pneumonialung infection
podiatrythe medical department that treats problems with feet, medical specialty – feet, foot doctor
poliomyelitispolio; a disease that can make you unable to move
pollutedirty, poison, taint, spoil
polysaccharide vaccinessugar vaccines
polyurethaneplastic
portionpiece, amount, part, serving
positionjob, rank, class, grade
possesshave, own
post-exposure prophylaxisdrug given to someone who has been near someone sick, prevention drug, drugs to prevent the spread of disease
postponeput off, wait, delay
potencystrength, force, power, level, dose
precautionsafeguard, caution, guard, care
predicamentproblem, bad situation, plight, difficulty
preliminaryearly, not final, initial
pre-pandemic vaccinepandemic flu or deadly flu vaccine; shot
preparednessreadiness, alertness, to be ready, to prepare, be prepared
prerogativeright
prescriptiondoctor's orders, medicine, drug order
presentgive, send, now, show
prevalencenumber of sick people
prevalencespread, disease spread, number, figure
preventstop, keep from happening, forbid, keep, hinder
preventionstop, bar, avoid
primary teethbaby teeth
principalmain, first, head, chief, most important
probabilitychance, likelihood
proceduresteps, method, course of action, how-to, way
proceedgo, move forward
prodromalsigns of disease or attack
proficientskilled, experienced, able
progressionmove forward, go on, get worse, advance
prohibitban, forbid, prevent
projectileobject moving with great force and speed, as in “projectile vomit”
proliferategrow, spread, reproduce
prophylacticdrugs given to prevent sickness or pregnancy, birth control, condom
prophylaxisprevention drugs, remedy, curative
prostategland in male body that makes sperm
prostatitisinfection of the prostate
protocolmethod, standard, step-by-step process
protocolrules, code
providegive, offer, send, supply
provokemake worse, cause, anger, annoy
psoriasisa dry, scaly, skin rash
psoriatic arthritisjoint swelling disease with skin rash
psychiatristmental health doctor, shrink
psychiatrystudy of mental health
PSA testa test to check the health of the prostate
PTSDan anxiety problem after seeing or having a traumatic event
public healtheveryone’s health, our health, health of the community as a whole
puffa short, gentle burst; a small breath
pulmonaryrelated to the lungs
pulmonary cancercancer of lung, trachea, bronchus
pulmonary care unitlung disease treatment area of hospital
pulmonary fibrosislung disease, scarring of lung tissue, shortness of breath
pulmonologistlung doctor
pulmonologystudy of lung disease
purchasebuy

Source: CDC Plain Language Thesaurus for Health Communications. Other related materials: Vaccines & Immunizations Glossary; Harvard School of Public Health "Plain Language Glossaries" for asthma, arthritis, and lupus; Medical Library Association "Deciphering Medspeak" for diabetes, stroke, and HIV-AIDS


Exercises created by Atty. Gerry T. Galacio; all rights reserved. You can freely use these exercises, but you must not upload them to any website or the cloud. For comments, questions, corrections, or suggestions, email gtgalacio@yahoo.com

 

Exercises created with freeware Hot Potatoes v. 6.3 from the University of Victoria in British Columbia, Canada.

 

Family Matters (complete text of the Family Code of the Philippines; frequently asked questions; relevant laws like RA 9262; legal procedures and Rules of Court)

 

Legal Updates (in-depth discussions of issues affecting the Filipino family, legal procedures, support, inheritance, etc.): Plain Language / Plain English for government offices, private companies, schools, and organizations; Clear, concise English for effective legal writing; Legal procedures in civil and criminal cases; Heirs and inheritances

Better English resources and exercises (free resources on grammar, pronunciation, spelling, writing, vocabulary, idioms, reading comprehension, public speaking, etc.)

 

Be a better writer or editor through StyleWriter 4: this software checks 10,000 words in 12 seconds for hundreds of style and English usage issues like wordy and complex sentences, passive voice, nominalization, jargon, clichés, readability, spelling, etc. StyleWriter 4 has a graded 200,000 word and phrase dictionary, covering most of the words you will ever use in writing.

 

StyleWriter 4 is widely used in the US federal government (for example, Environmental Protection Agency). It is used in banks, law offices, and by professionals from various fields. It is fully customizable and comes with three versions: USA, UK, and Australian. StyleWriter 4 can edit memos, articles, essays, business letters, speeches, thesis, dissertations, books (fiction or non-fiction), and all kinds of corporate communications.