Iatrogenic is used for something that results from the direct (or indirect) actions of physicians, surgeons, or other caregivers, e.g. nurses .

It is usually used in the context of describing a possible cause of a finding/diagnosis. Anything caused by any form of diagnostic test or treatment (including medication, radiotherapy and surgery) may be described as iatrogenic, e.g. a pneumothorax occurring as a sequela of thoracentesis could be described as iatrogenic.

It is important to note that most instances of iatrogenesis follow correct uses of the treatment modality, i.e. it is not medical malpractice.

History and etymology

Iatrogenic is derived from the Ancient Greek roots ιατρος (iatros) meaning physician and γεν (gen) meaning producing . The 'iatros' root is also found in 'geriatric' (physician of the old) and 'pediatric' (physician of the child).