A Review of the Dean Vaughn Medical Terminology 350 Program Blog Feature
Sarah Layton

By: Sarah Layton on May 26th, 2015

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A Review of the Dean Vaughn Medical Terminology 350 Program

Health Science | Medical Terminology

Are your students struggling to master the vast amounts of medical terms they need to know? How can you help them? If you are like the many health science teachers we encounter, then you are likely asking that question, too.

One method that keeps popping up on our radar is the Dean Vaughn Medical Terminology 350 program. I was unfamiliar with Dean Vaughn Medical Terminology, so I thought I'd take a look to see what it's all about. Here's what I found...

Dean Vaughn Medical Terminology 350

I started by watching the demo video available on the Dean Vaughn Medical Terminology site. I will warn you, it's unexpected! But not in a bad way... I understand that the whole premise of the system is that you associate absurd objects and word associations so as to make them unforgettable.

I would say that in that, they are successful! I'll never look at a fur stole the same way again.

Here's how they describe this effective, well-respected curriculum:

"The Dean Vaughn Total Retention System™ applied to Medical Terminology 350, produced by DCM Instructional Systems, is designed to be the fastest and most effective method to teach the most commonly used Greek and Latin elements of Medical Terminology. It works in conjunction with the natural learning process of the brain by converting abstract medical elements into images of real and familiar objects that makes it incredibly easy to learn and remember program content."

From my brief experience with trying out the program, I would say that's exactly what they do --take unfamiliar terms and associate them with common things. And it's done in such a fun an unexpected way that it helps you remember the crazy associations.

First you learn a few terms with some crazy word and picture associations. Then you broaden that base by putting different terms (ie, prefixes and suffixes) together to make all kinds of words based on your foundational understanding. It's really quite brilliant!

Before you realize it, you've developed the ability to understand many, many words from just a few terms and word parts.

It's a totally unique approach to memorizing the exhaustive list of medical terms that health science students need to be successful in the field.

This program aims for life-long learning of these terms for students to carry with them long after taking the final exam.

Dean Vaughn Medical Terminology Lesson 1

In addition to the videos, students also participate in some other off-computer activities to help cement their new knowledge of terms. There are well-done lesson plans to assist teachers.

In Dean Vaughn Medical Terminology Lesson 1, for example, the lesson plan includes specific instructions for directing students through a review activity where half the students take the role of the "teacher" while the other half take the role of "student."

This activity not only helps students review, it gives the teacher that all-important opportunity to gauge how students are doing with terms both individually and as a class.

What You Get with Dean Vaughn

According to their sample documentation, here is what you can expect students to complete during the program:

  • Pretest on 350 medical elements
  • 14 video lessons
  • Learning guide exercises for each lesson
  • Review of 350 medical elements
  • Final test to assess student knowledge

And these are the objectives that students should master by completing the Dean Vaughn Medical Terminology 350:

  • Identify the structure of medical terminology and recognize word roots, prefixes, suffixes, and combining forms
  • Understand that the meaning of most complex medical terms is derived by analysis of simpler components or word parts
  • Acquire a solid foundation of 350 Latin and Greek word parts or elements that will lead to interpreting and understanding more than 11,000 complex medical terms
  • Achieve a 90 or better percent score or better on the final test

Well-Rounded Medical Terminology Activities

dean vaughn medical terminologoyProbably the only possible down-side I saw in my brief experience with Dean Vaughn Medical Terminology was that it focused so much on the deliberately bizarre, that I had some concerns about what students were actually learning about medical terms. And maybe that's just because I was looking at just the sample materials provided on their site.

But it seems to me that this program would best be served along a healthy dose of medical terminology curriculum. Brilliantly pairing some solid medical terminology foundational curriculum with Dean Vaughn Medical Terminology to provide the important curriculum knowledge along with effective memorization strategies.

This seems like a blended learning win-win combination!

Teach Students How to Memorize Medical Terms Plus More!

If you are looking for a proven way to help your students memorize medical terminology for the long run, it seems you cannot go wrong with the Dean Vaughn Medical Terminology 350 system.

Surround that with supporting health science curriculum, and you have quite the setup for developing a classroom full of medical terminology masters!

To get your starting curriculum, just check out HealthCenter21. 

We designed HealthCenter21 to provide you with all the supporting materials you need to teach a class, educate students, and save time all at once! 

Want to try it for yourself? 

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About Sarah Layton

Sarah has been with AES since 1998, first serving as a curriculum developer, and now as a customer support analyst and content creator. She is committed to helping instructors gain experience and confidence using our solutions and to providing excellent customer care.