History (OCR) - Medicine Through Time Individuals (Revision Notes)

Here are the key individuals you need to know for OCR Medicine Through Time GCSE.

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Medicine through time individuals!
Hippocrates: (Greek Period)
Hippocrates improved medicine by doing the following:
· Observing and recording his patients' symptoms carefully. This allowed him to select the
right cure. His records helped him to treat future patients better too.
· Four Humours Theory: Hippocrates used this theory and said that disease had natural, not
supernatural causes.
· Natural treatments: Hippocrates encouraged doctors to use natural treatments e.g. Change
of diet, exercise, herbal remedies and purging. These were more effective than supernatural
· Hippocratic Oath: Hippocrates asked doctors to promise not to hurt their patients and to
keep their details confidential. This made patients trust their doctors more.
· Hippocratic Collection: Hippocrates wrote his ideas in books. These were the first written
collections of cures and symptoms. They ideas were passed to future doctors and influenced
medicine for thousands of years.
Galen: (Roman Period)
Galen used many of Hippocrates' ideas such as:
· Four Humours Theory
· Observing and recording
· Natural treatments e.g. bleeding, purging, herbal remedies
Galen also came up with new ideas which improved medicine:
· Dissection ­ Galen said it was important to dissect the body to learn about it. He dissected
bodies in Alexandria and proved that the brain controlled the body. Because dissection was
banned in most of the Roman Empire, he often had to dissect animals instead.
· Treatment of opposites ­ When patients had too much of one humour, Galen said to use a
natural treatment with the opposite qualities. This would re-balance the humours again.
This idea was linked to the Four Humours Theory.
· Galen's book ­ Galen recorded his methods and his discoveries about the anatomy in his
book. His book was used by students until it was challenged during the Renaissance. Galen's
made some mistakes in his work about the body because he usually dissected animals.

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Vesalius: (Renaissance Period)
He wrote Fabric of the Human Body. This was a detailed map of the human body.
· He uncovered Galen's mistakes about the heart & septum and the jaw bone. This opened
the way for others like Harvey to challenge Galen's ideas too.
· He showed people that dissection was important to learn about the body. This encouraged
others like Harvey to dissect the body for scientific reasons.…read more

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Harvey: (Renaissance Period)
· He proved that the heart was a pump
· He showed blood moved around the body in a one way system (circulation)
Factors which helped him:
· Scientific experiment and dissection ­ he used this to measure & calculate the amount of
blood in the body
· Vesalius' work ­ Vesalius had challenged Galen, which made it easier for Harvey to
challenge Galen's ideas about the heart too.
· Wealth & education ­ Harvey studied at university in Italy.…read more

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Nightingale: (19th Century)
· Before Nightingale's work, nurses had a poor reputation. They were seen as untrained
drunks. Hospitals were dirty and patients often died from infection.
· Nightingale's work in the Crimean War: Nightingale cut the death rate of British soldiers in
military hospitals in Turkey by improving hygiene, sanitation and ventilation (fresh air) in the
hospital wards.
· Nightingale's work after Crimean War: she set up a training school for nurses. This changed
the reputation of nursing.…read more

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Pasteur: (19th Century)
· 1861 Germ theory ­ discovered germs and proved they cause animal diseases
· 1879 Discovery of how vaccination works ­ while working on chicken cholera germs,
Pasteur discovered how to make a new vaccination for chicken cholera. He realised that
vaccines could be made by using a milder form of the disease.
· 1882 Vaccines for anthrax, rabies and cholera
Factors which helped him:
· War between Germany and France.…read more

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Simpson: (19th Century)
· In 1847 Simpson discovered chloroform. This was an effective anaesthetic with fewer side
Factors which helped him:
· Individual brilliance ­ Simpson experimented with many chemicals before finding
chloroform worked best. He wrote articles about his discovery which spread his idea to
other surgeons.
· Science ­ In the 1800s, new chemicals were being discovered. it was common for scientists
to experiment with new chemicals and gases. This is what Simpson was doing when he
found chloroform.…read more

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Lister: (19th Century)
Lister read Pasteur's work on germs and wanted to stop germs causing infection during surgery. He
sprayed carbolic acid across the operating theatre during surgery as an antiseptic to kill germs
during surgery.
Factors which helped Lister:
· Individual brilliance ­ Lister's idea to spray carbolic acid during surgery was brilliant. He
recorded his results carefully to check his methods worked.
· Science ­ Lister's use of carbolic acid to kill germs was based on Pasteur's Germ Theory
1861.…read more


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