Medicine Individuals

Info about Key individuals in Medicine through time.

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  • Hippocrates was a Greek physician born in 460 BC, Greece. He became known as the founder of medicine and was regarded as the greatest physician of his time. He based his medical practice on observations and on the study of the human body. He held the belief that illness had a physical and a rational explanation. He rejected the views of his time that considered illness to be caused by superstitions and by possession of evil spirits and disfavor of the gods.
  • Hippocrates held the belief that the body must be treated as a whole and not just a series of parts. He accurately described disease symptoms and was the first physician to accurately describe the symptoms of pneumonia, as well as epilepsy in children. He believed in the natural healing process of rest, a good diet, fresh air and cleanliness.
  • He noted that there were individual differences in the severity of disease symptoms and that some individuals were better able to cope with their disease and illness than others. He was also the first physician that held the belief that thoughts, ideas, and feelings come from the brain and not the heart as others of him time believed.
  • Hippocrates made careful, regular note of many symptoms including complexion, pulse, fever, pains, movement, and excretions.
  • The Hippocratic School gave importance to the clinical doctrines of observation and documentation. These doctrines dictate that physicians record their findings and their medicinal methods in a very clear and objective manner, so that these records may be passed down and employed by other physicians.
  •  He soon developed an Oath of Medical Ethics for physicians to follow. This Oath is taken by physicians today as they begin their medical practice. He died in 377 BC. Today Hippocrates is known as the "Father of Medicine".
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  • Claudius Galen, was physician to five Roman emperors. He was a teacher, philosopher, pharmacist and leading scientist of his day. During his life he produced five hundred books and treatises on all aspects of medical science and philosophical subjects and his ideas were to formulate many of the scientific beliefs which dominated medical thinking for about 1 500 years. Galen was the great compiler and systemiser of Greco-Roman medicine, physiology, pharmacy and anatomy. 
  • Galen put forward the theory that illness was caused by an imbalance of the four humours: blood, phlegm, black bile and yellow bile. He recommended specific diets to help in the "cleansing of the putrefied juices" and often purging and bloodletting would be used.
  • Galen developed some of his idea’s from Hippocrates and his theory of the four humours and also that the body was made up of four liquids, which if one of them was out of balance you would be ill and use an opposite of what was out of balance to treat it. One of Galens best said ideas was to use clinical observation and also to find out what was the cause of an illness and then try to cure it. He had excellent knowledge of human anatomy which he learned from disecting animals like apes and also heoriginally patched up gladiators, he was able to apply this knowledge to the human body.
  • One of the main things Galen did which was wrong was his theories on the circulation, because he believed there was two lots of blood in the body, that was being mixed in the heart aswell as saying that the liver produced new blood. This was important though as it influenced medicine
    and other peoples ideas for years and what he had said about circulation was all wrong. 
  •  Although Galen insisted he was correct and refused any other ideas, it was not entirely his fault that his ideas were believed for so long, because the church and religion chose his ideas as correct and decided to teach these wrong ideas. 
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