Abbreviations are used very frequently in medicine. They boost efficiency as long as they are used intelligently. The advantages of brevity should be weighed against the possibilities of obfuscation (making the communication harder for others to understand) and ambiguity (having more than one possible interpretation). Certain medical abbreviations are avoided to prevent mistakes, according to best practices (and in some cases regulatory requirements); these are flagged in the list of abbreviations used in medical prescriptions.
Pronunciation follows convention outside the medical field, in which acronyms are generally pronounced as if they were a word (JAMA, SIDS), initialisms are generally pronounced as individual letters (DNA, SSRI), and abbreviations generally use the expansion (soln. = "solution", sup. = "superior"). Abbreviations of weights and measures are pronounced using the expansion of the unit (mg = "milligram") and chemical symbols using the chemical expansion (NaCl = "sodium chloride"). Some initialisms deriving from Latin may be pronounced either as letters (qid = "cue eye dee") or using the English expansion (qid = "four times a day").
Movshovitz-Attias, Dana; Cohen, William W. (2012). Alignment-HMM-based Extraction of Abbreviations from Biomedical Text. Montreal, Canada: NAACL..
Davis, Neil M. (2014). Medical Abbreviations: 32,000 Conveniences at the Expense of Communication and Safety (15th ed.). Warminster, PA, USA: Neil M Davis Associates. ISBN978-0-931431-15-9. Available online (by subscription) at MedAbbrev.com.
Jablonski, Stanley (2008). Jablonski's Dictionary of Medical Acronyms and Abbreviations with CD-ROM (6th ed.). Philadelphia: Saunders. ISBN978-1-4160-5899-1.
Sloane, Sheila B. (1997). Medical Abbreviations & Eponyms (2nd ed.). Philadelphia: Saunders. ISBN978-0-7216-7088-1.