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?


2 Answers 2


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
    Commented Apr 10, 2015 at 14:48

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