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U of M Widget Translates Medical Terms

By Kate Saylor
Outreach Librarian
University of Michigan
Taubman Health Sciences Library

The Plain Language Medical Dictionary Widget is a project of the University of Michigan Taubman Health Sciences Library (THL) as part of the Michigan Health Literacy Awareness Training Program (

A team at THL developed this Plain Language Medical Dictionary Widget that can be embedded on websites and blogs. This tool uses plain language definitions to common medical terms from a little-known PDF that was created by the US government but never widely utilized. The original source for these definitions can be found in the Plain Language Thesaurus for Health Communications, Draft 3, October 2007. National Center for Health Marketing, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Department of Health and Human Services, United States of America. #07-151(NE)/092607.

This dictionary widget makes plain language translations more available, accessible, and discoverable in support of health literacy initiatives and outreach. To browse dictionary terms, click on the drop down menu to select from a list of high-level medical terms. Once a word or phrase is selected, the plain language translation will appear in the box. Please visit ( to learn more about the tool and to get the code to add it to your own page.

This work was performed under a subcontract with the University of Illinois at Chicago <> and made possible by grant #N01-LM-6-3503 from National Library of Medicine (NLM) <>, and its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the National Library of Medicine.

One Response to “U of M Widget Translates Medical Terms”

  1. Peg Burnette Says:

    This is very cool!