Rutu Dabhi

Date Approved


Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department or School

Health Sciences

Committee Member

Irwin Martin, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Jean Rowan, MD, MS.


An open and easy communication is the key to building doctor-patient relationships. It has become increasingly important for doctors to use the right language with their patients. Since doctor-patient communication may include complex technical language and/or medical terminology, it is often difficult for patients to understand their own diagnoses or treatment plans. The purpose of this research was to understand the relationship between physician use of medical terminology and patient satisfaction. An online research survey was sent to 250 random patients at selected clinics/hospitals during February 2019; responses were received from 39 patients. Questions were asked about the participants' use of primary care physicians and some questions regarding their familiarity with medical terminology. Survey responses showed that the use of common, simple language at patient visits plays a large role in building patients’ trust and understanding. Therefore, there is a need for doctors to use simple language with their patients when discussing their diagnoses or treatment plans.