Medical Informatics has a constant need for basic medical language processing tasks, e.g. for coding into controlled vocabularies, free text indexing and information retrieval. Most of these tasks involve term matching and rely on lexical resources: lists of words with attached information, including inflected forms and derived words, etc. Such resources are publicly available for the English language with the UMLS Specialist Lexicon, but not in other languages. For the French language, several teams have worked on the subject and built local lexical resources. The goal of the present work is to pool and unify these resources and to add extensively to them by exploiting medical terminologies and corpora, resulting in a unified medical lexicon for French (UMLF). This paper exposes the issues raised by such an objective, describes the methods on which the project relies and illustrates them with experimental results.