Medical words that sound similar (and how to deal with them) Sound-alike words can pose a challenge to transcriptionists. For example, there is a vast difference between ileum and ilium, even though they sound the same. It could be a critical mistake to type the wrong word into a medical report. The ileum refers to the distal portion of the colon while ilium refers to the superior portion of the hip bone. Using the wrong word could make the medical report very confusing and could potentially put a patient's life at risk.