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Medical Dictionary




A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

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Oat cell cancer
A type of lung cancer in which the cells look like oats. Also called small cell lung cancer.


Oath of Maimonides
A prayer that is said to have been written by the 12th-century physician-philosopher Moses Maimonides. Like the famous oath of Hippocrates, the prayer of Maimonides is often recited by new medical graduates.

This prayer, which is also called the "Prayer of Moses Maimonides", is now thought to have been written, not by Maimonides, but by Marcus Herz, a German physician, pupil of the the German philosopher Immanual Kant, and physician to the great English philantropist Moses Mendelssohn. The prayer first appeared in print in 1793 which may be when it was written.

Irrespective of who wrote it, it is an extraordinary prayer. It reads as follows:

"Almighty God, Thou has created the human body with infinite wisdom. Ten thousand times ten thousand organs hast Thou combined in it that act unceasingly and harmoniously to preserve the whole in all its beauty the body which is the envelope of the immortal soul. They are ever acting in perfect order, agreement and accord. Yet, when the frailty of matter or the unbridling of passions deranges this order or interrupts this accord, then forces clash and the body crumbles into the primal dust from which it came. Thou sendest to man diseases as beneficent messengers to foretell approaching danger and to urge him to avert it.

"Thou has blest Thine earth, Thy rivers and Thy mountains with healing substances; they enable Thy creatures to alleviate their sufferings and to heal their illnesses. Thou hast endowed man with the wisdom to relieve the suffering of his brother, to recognize his disorders, to extract the healing substances, to discover their powers and to prepare and to apply them to suit every ill. In Thine Eternal Providence Thou hast chosen me to watch over the life and health of Thy creatures. I am now about to apply myself to the duties of my profession. Support me, Almighty God, in these great labors that they may benefit mankind, for without Thy help not even the least thing will succeed.

"Inspire me with love for my art and for Thy creatures. Do not allow thirst for profit, ambition for renown and admiration, to interfere with my profession, for these are the enemies of truth and of love for mankind and they can lead astray in the great task of attending to the welfare of Thy creatures. Preserve the strength of my body and of my soul that they ever be ready to cheerfully help and support rich and poor, good and bad, enemy as well as friend. In the sufferer let me see only the human being. Illumine my mind that it recognize what presents itself and that it may comprehend what is absent or hidden. Let it not fail to see what is visible, but do not permit it to arrogate to itself the power to see what cannot be seen, for delicate and indefinite are the bounds of the great art of caring for the lives and health of Thy creatures. Let me never be absent- minded. May no strange thoughts divert my attention at the bedside of the sick, or disturb my mind in its silent labors, for great and sacred are the thoughtful deliberations required to preserve the lives and health of Thy creatures.

"Grant that my patients have confidence in me and my art and follow my directions and my counsel. Remove from their midst all charlatans and the whole host of officious relatives and know-all nurses, cruel people who arrogantly frustrate the wisest purposes of our art and often lead Thy creatures to their death.

"Should those who are wiser than I wish to improve and instruct me, let my soul gratefully follow their guidance; for vast is the extent of our art. Should conceited fools, however, censure me, then let love for my profession steel me against them, so that I remain steadfast without regard for age, for reputation, or for honor, because surrender would bring to Thy creatures sickness and death.

"Imbue my soul with gentleness and calmness when older colleagues, proud of their age, wish to displace me or to scorn me or disdainfully to teach me. May even this be of advantage to me, for they know many things of which I am ignorant, but let not their arrogance give me pain. For they are old and old age is not master of the passions. I also hope to attain old age upon this earth, before Thee, Almighty God!


OB
Abbreviation for obstetrician or for obstetrics, the art and science of managing pregnancy, labor and the pueperium, the time immediately after delivery.


OB/GYN
A commonly used abbreviation. OB is short for obstetrics or for an obstetrician, a physician who delivers babies. GYN is short for gynecology or for a gynecologist, a physician who specializes in treating diseases of the female reproductive organs. The word "gynecology" comes from the Greek gyno, gynaikos meaning woman + logia meaning study, so gynecology literally is the study of women. These days gynecology is focused largely on disorders of the female reproductive organs. An obstetrician/gynecologist (OB/GYN) is therefore a physician who both delivers babies and treats diseases of the female reproductive organs.


Obese
Overweight


Obesity
The state of being overweight. A person is considered to be obese if they are more than 20 percent over their ideal weight. That ideal weight must take into account the personís height, age, sex, and build. Obesity is often multifactorial, based on both genetic and behavioral factors. Accordingly, treatment of obesity usually requires more than just dietary changes. Exercise, counseling and support, and sometimes medication can supplement diet to help patients conquer weight problems. Extreme diets, on the other hand, can actually contribute to increased obesity. Overweight is a significant contributor to health problems.

See obesity-related diseases.


Obesity, endogenous
Overweight caused by malfunction of the hormonal or metabolic system.


Obesity, exogenous
Overweight caused by consuming more food than the personís activity level warrants, leading to increased fat storage.


Obesity, gynecoid
A fat distribution generally characteristic of that of a woman, around the hips, etc.

Gynecoid means like a woman, womanly, female. The word gynecoid comes from the Greek gyno, gynaikos meaning woman. Gyneco-, gyno-, gyn-, and gyne- are combining forms meaning woman. For examples:

Gynecoid pelvis: A pelvis that is shaped like a woman's.
Gynecology: The study of the diseases of the female reproductive organs and the breasts.
Gynecomastia: Excessive development of the male breast (so that it is female-like).
Male obesity is a fat distribution characteristic of a man, with a pauch, etc


Obesity-related diseases
Obesity increases the risk of developing a number of diseases including:

Type 2 (adult-onset) diabetes
High blood pressure (hypertension)
Stroke (cerebrovascular accident or CVA)
Heart attack (myocardial infarction or MI)
Heart failure (congestive heart failure)
Cancer (only certain forms such as prostate and colon cancer)
Gallstones and gall bladder disease (cholecystitis)
Gout and gouty arthritis
Osteoarthritis (degenerative arthritis) of the knees, hips, and the lower back
Sleep apnea (failure to breath normally during sleep, lowering blood oxygen)
Pickwickian syndrome (obesity, red face, underventilation, and drowsiness).