OGMS: Ontology for General Medical Science

The Ontology for General Medical Science (OGMS) is an ontology of entities involved in a clinical encounter. OGMS includes very general terms that are used across medical disciplines, including: 'disease', 'disorder', 'disease course', 'diagnosis', 'patient', and 'healthcare provider'. OGMS uses the Basic Formal Ontology (BFO) as an upper-level ontology. The scope of OGMS is restricted to humans, but many terms can be applied to a variety of organisms.

OGMS provides a formal theory of disease that can be further elaborated by specific disease ontologies. This theory is implemented using OWL-DL and OBO Relation Ontology relations and is available in OWL and OBO formats. OGMS is based on the papers Toward an Ontological Treatment of Disease and Diagnosis and On Carcinomas and Other Pathological Entities.

The ontology attempts to address some of the issues raised at the Workshop on Ontology of Diseases (Dallas, TX) and the Signs, Symptoms, and Findings Workshop (Milan, Italy). OGMS was formerly called the clinical phenotype ontology. Terms from OGMS hang from the Basic Formal Ontology.


Summit on translational bioinformatics. 2009-03-01; 2009.116-20.
Toward an ontological treatment of disease and diagnosis
Scheuermann RH, Ceusters W, Smith B
PMID: 21347182

Principal Investigator

Key Staff

  • Brian Aevermann, MS


Barry Smith, Werner Ceuster, Alex Diehl, Bill Duncan, and Mark Jensen
University of Buffalo

Bill Hogan
University of Florida

Jie Zheng
University of Pennsylvania

Jonathan Bona
University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences

Sivaram Arabandi
Mayo Clinic


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