The digital medical dictionary of the National Academy of Medicine is accessible to everyone on the Internet. It contains around 60,000 definitions. An editorial board meets twice a month to standardize and approve changes to entries. The dictionary is visited at least 65,000 times each month by people from over 120 countries.
Digital Medical Dictionary
For more than two centuries, the National Academy of Medicine (ANM) has been involved in medical lexicography. The medium was paper. The last major work of this type was carried out from 1997 to 2008 under the impetus given in 1990 by Alain Larcan and Jean-Claude Sournia and then continued by Jacques Polonovski: 14 volumes dealing with medicine by discipline were published by the CILF thanks to its Secretary-General, Hubert Joly, and under the responsibility of an editor. This is the work that served as the basis for the current digital dictionary after extensive changes.
What Are The Objectives of Such A Dictionary?
Speaking the same language, understanding each other in order to communicate, such is the interest of a constantly renewed dictionary which aims to follow the evolution and continuous progress of medical science. Words and phrases are the support of a concept. Without limit of volume, a digital dictionary, even if it is not an encyclopedia, can afford to combine a short definition and a longer commentary. It is not intended for those in the know but for a large readership of health professionals who have been driven away by hyperspecialization from whole areas of biology and medicine.
The physician must also communicate with his patients. The patient’s confidence in his doctor is at this price. This is the difficulty of the passage from scientific language to vernacular language without the discourse losing its semantic precision. Thanks to its easy access to the Internet, the dictionary is consulted by the general public more and more confronted with a mass of knowledge that it is difficult for them to control.
It is a rich language, not too worn out by geographically diverse employment in an atmosphere of globalization. It remains a reference language, but a living language which must know, in particular in the scientific field, how to adopt new terms forged by the need to integrate all the new concepts created by the evolution of medical knowledge. The dictionary must be the vector of medical thought and its language.