In this discussion about [renal-calculi] and [kidney-stones], the question has come up if we should use specialized medical terms or generic layman's terms for tagging.

What do you think?


While the focus of Health SE is still being discussed, the original site description so far has been:

Health SE is a Q&A site for medical specialists, students, dietitians and anyone with health-related questions.

Medical specialists, students and dietitians should understand medical terms, and they will also use these terms while (re)searching. However, most people with health-related questions who are not part of any of the former groups will probably have no idea what renal calculi are.

This is why I suggest the following approach:

Use generic layman's terms for tagging, and add technical medical terms as tag synonyms.

For an example, have a look at Kevin's answer (that actually inspired this answer).


I would be in favor of using both, as synonyms.

The rationale behind this is that depending on who you are as a user, you may be interested in one or the other.

(Just an) example: in first aid, a layman may be interested in searching or to tag a question with "nose bleed". A CFR, an EMT, etc, would be prone to use "epistaxis" instead, like a kind of conditioned reflex.

  • Depends on context. I would be more apt to say nosebleed when reporting in to medical control, but write epistaxis on the run sheet. – JohnP Apr 10 '15 at 14:48

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