By Sloane M. Perron, Manager of Marketing Communications

Dr. Joan-Beth Gow, professor of Biology, reached another career milestone with the publication of her first book, Medical Terminology: Active Learning Through Case Studies.

Published by Jones & Bartlett Learning, Gow was inspired to write the medical terminology publication after having difficulty finding textbooks that were completely comprised of case studies.

According to Gow, case studies allow the students to apply the medical terms that they learn in class and think about them in a real-world context. Rather than just memorizing terms, Gow wants her students to be able to interact with the materials and understand the bigger picture.

“Students are more likely to internalize the information. If they are learning things in isolation, if they are just memorizing terms, then it is hard for them to make connections, but if they have a real-life application, they are much more likely to learn the information and to be able to retrieve it later. That way they are not just learning it for an exam,” she said.

What makes Medical Terminology: Active Learning Through Case Studies unique is that every page has a case study, scenario, key terms, and an image to accompany the medical term. It also has workbook exercises to further relay the information. These elements make medical terminology more engaging and user-friendly for students.

“The idea is that instead of just learning a long list of medical terms, because there are so many of them, that students have a foundation so that they learn root words, prefixes, suffixes, and then they use those as a foundation to build longer words and to take longer words and break them down,” Gow explained.

According to Gow, students in class often prefer case study learning because they can use stories to understand the medical terms.

“One of my students in Genetics today just said to me ‘I love the way this class is structured. I really like that we use the case studies because it really helps us apply the information and think about it,’” she said.

The road from concept to print was long and winding for both Gow and her co-author, former Anna Maria faculty member Arne Christensen. They developed the idea for the textbook in 2019, but after years of research, writing case studies, editing, and developing marketing strategies, the book was just released in February.

“I never thought about writing a book until I was looking for a textbook like this and could not find it,” Gow said.

While this is Gow’s first published book, she has published several academic articles in the past.

Gow is excited to see how this new resource will benefit other academic institutions and is looking forward to a possible second edition of the publication in the future.

“I hope that this is successful. There are lots of textbooks out there, so it is hard to know how many faculty from other institutions will adopt it; I hope that there is enough that there would be a need for a second edition,” Gow said.

Medical Terminology: Active Learning Through Case Studies will be used in Gow’s classes next semester. The publication is currently available for purchase on Jones & Bartlett Learning’s website and on Amazon.