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General (pronunciation: /ˈdʒɛn(ə)r(ə)l/, from Latin generalis, meaning 'relating to all, of most concern') is a term used in various fields of study, including medicine, to denote something that is common to, affects or involves the whole or a major part of something.

In the medical field, the term 'general' is often used to describe conditions, symptoms, or treatments that are not specific to one part of the body or type of disease. For example, General Anesthesia is a state of unconsciousness induced for medical procedures that affect the entire body, not just a specific area.

Related Terms

  • General Anesthesia: A state of unconsciousness with the absence of pain sensation over the entire body, induced by an anesthetic agent or agents, and used during major surgery or procedures.
  • General Practitioner: A medical doctor who treats acute and chronic illnesses and provides preventive care and health education to patients.
  • General Surgery: A surgical specialty that focuses on abdominal contents including esophagus, stomach, small bowel, colon, liver, pancreas, gallbladder, appendix and bile ducts, and often the thyroid gland.
  • General Medicine: The branch of medicine that deals with the diagnosis and nonsurgical treatment of diseases of the internal organs.
  • General Health: A state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.

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