Virtually the first sentence in the Stylebook (editorial manual) of the Journal of the American Medical Association cautions about overuse of abbreviations. Still, there is no escaping the acronyms, initials, and truncated words of medicine, or of any other field for that matter. They are part of an age in which speed is a virtue.
Among those who are trying to guide us through these often confusing efforts at brevity (for example, we may be wondering if BP stands for bathroom privileges, bedpan, biotic potential, birthplace, blood pressure, bypass, or who knows what else) is Edwin B. Steen, PhD, professor emeritus of anatomy and physiology, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo. This is the fourth appearance of Steen's handy little reference book, slightly retitled this time and revised for the first time in seven years.
It is a useful little volume, small enough to be tucked into pocket or purse if need