Change and continuity in medicine through the ages

The advancements and the hinderances in the development of medicine, age by age from prehistoric to 20th century. I created the document to help me in the exam questions which ask you to compare the differences in medicine in the different ages, I hope it's useful to you.

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  • Created by: Lauren
  • Created on: 06-05-13 15:26
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Continuity Change
Prehistoric -Illness was believed to be caused N/A
by the supernatural and evil spirits
-Witch doctors and magic rituals
played a big part in prehistoric
-One cure that was used was the
trephining of skulls to `let out evil
-Prehistoric medicine also involved
the use of natural or practical simple
-Trephining sometimes was
successful, evidence shows
-They also used herbal medicines
and dressings for wounds and knew
how to set bones and carry out
-Nothing was written down
Egyptian -They believed evil spirits caused -Egyptians used the idea of the river Nile to
illness, and believed some gods explain the human body
cured people -Their invention of writing allowed
-Prayers by priests, and the use of symptoms and treatments to be recorded,
charms and amulets, were believed this led to continuity
to help prevent illness. -Their practice of mummification led to
- Ancient Egyptians also had a wide improved knowledge of human anatomy
range of natural cures (although they were not allowed to examine
-They performed simple operations the organs removed in more detail)
-Instead of witch doctors, Egyptians -The ancient Egyptians traveled and traded
had physicians all over the known world, and brought back
all kinds of herbs and spices, which their
doctors then used
-Egyptians had simple baths and toilets.
Egyptian men and women took great
care over their personal cleanliness (to
appeal to the gods) and appearance,
and there is evidence that they used
eye make-up that helped protect their
eyes from diseases. They also slept
under mosquito nets.
Greek -Greeks believed that Gods created -The idea of the Four Humours was created
and caused diseases -It became important to study people's
-They traded with other countries symptoms in detail and make notes on them,
for their spices and herbs. the Hippocratic oath was also created to
-They could perform simple surgery make sure every physician was reliable.
and mending broken limbs, but -Further medical progress resulted from the
without anesthetic founding of Alexandria, in which a large

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Greek doctors and their ideas spread
across the ancient civilisations around the
-Doctors were allowed to dissect bodies,
this lead to the discovery that the brain, not
the heart, controls the movement of the
limbs, and that the blood moves through the
veins (although he did not realise that it
circulated).…read more

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Public health was still horrible, -People became richer and some could
towns were full of rats, fleas and afford doctors
lice -The invention of new weapons
-Most people couldn't afford (gunpowder) meant that there were new
doctors and most doctors weren't kinds of wounds, and cures were discovered
trained in the new ideas and to combat them
discoveries -A form of opium was discovered that dulled
-Most people relied on family to pain
make medicines and potions -Developments in art meant that ideas could
-Superstitions…read more


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