I just wanted to throw this suggestion out there for those of you whose students have problems with soundalikes (homophones) and frequently misspelled English and medical words. Besides having the students study the usual lists of frequently misspelled and frequently misused English and medical words and quizzing them, I find mnemonics useful. At first, I would just give them the mnemonic that I knew and had used numerous times in teaching, but sometimes I'd find the students still making the same mistakes. Having students devise their own mnemonics is somewhat successful, but sometimes that, too, falls short. So, here's another strategy. When they misspell a word that falls in the frequently misspelled category, English or medical, suggest they do a Google search for spelling
mnemonic the word correctly spelled. If they choose the wrong word in a pair or collection of homophones, alter the Google search to
mnemonic the pair of words they've confused. Here are some examples:
mnemonic affect effect
mnemonic peak pique
mnemonic dysphagia dysphasia
mnemonic apophysis epiphysis
They won't be as successful in finding medical mnemonics as English, but there is an amazing amount of medical study tips online.
I find that having students do the research themselves and perhaps finding several different memory tips helps them more than when I supply the tips. Perhaps it's just because they're dealing with the terms long enough to imbed the differences in their brains. I don't know, but this works.
A side benefit is that they will very likely pick up some medical jewels along the way that will benefit their studies and their work. For example, today I learned what differentiates an apophysis and an epiphysis.
Ellen Drake, CMT, FAAMT
Development Editor, Health Professions Institute