Myrna LaFleur Brooks

I first taught medical terminology in 1970, a two-credit course at GateWay Community College in Phoenix, Arizona. Using the textbook titled, The Elements of Scientific and Specialized Terminology by Brunner and Berkowitz, I learned to teach medical terminology using the word-part method.

Since the book only dealt with terms built from word parts, I was interested in a book that would broaden the offering to medical terms not built from word parts.

Unable to find such a text, my teaching partner, Winnie Starr, and I sent a textbook proposal to The C.V Mosby Company. Our proposal was accepted, and we began writing the text Exploring Medical Language, A Student-Directed Approach.

Myrna LaFleur Brooks

The first edition was published in 1985 and is now in the 10th edition by Elsevier. I have the great privilege of co-authoring the textbook with my daughter, Danielle LaFleur Brooks.

In 1996, a second medical terminology text, Basic Medical Language, Elsevier, was published, co-authored by Danielle, and is now in its 6th edition. Basic Medical Language differs from Exploring Medical Language in that it is designed for use in a shorter course and is often used in Health Occupation Programs.

I am also the original coauthor of LaFleur Brooks’ Health Unit Coordinating. W.B Saunders/Elsevier The national exposure from publishing this textbook led me to become the founding president of the National Association of Health Unit Coordinators.

My career through the years consisted of bedside nursing, as Director of Staff Development in a hospital setting, and 27 years as faculty and Chair of the Health Science Division, Maricopa County Community College District.

Now, through social media (, @MLaFleurBrooks, LinkedIn), I connect daily with healthcare professionals, patients, students, faculty, and anyone interested in discussing, learning, and sharing the fascinating world of medical language.