History GCSE Medicine Through Time (and Public Health Extension Study) Complete Revision Notes

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  • Created by: Amy
  • Created on: 24-02-14 18:03

History GCSE-

Medicine and Treatment 1350-present

The Exam

Medicine and public health is in Paper 1, is 1 hour and 15 minutes and is worth 50 marks.

Question 1 is worth 4 marks so you should spend 5 minutes on it. It will give you two sources from different times in history, usually one written and one image, and ask you to comment on the changes between the two sources. To do this, you need to make inferences and judgements on the source and then use detail from the source to support your inference.

Question 2 is worth 9 marks so you should spend 15 minutes on it. It will give you two examples of people or events and ask you to choose one of them and explain why they changed something, improved something or caused it to stay the same. To do this, you need to link what the person did to how they improved medicine.

There is a choice of question between Question 3 and Question 4 but both are worth 12 marks so you should spend 20 minutes on them. This question will ask you to analyse the significance of something or someone and will always give you some information to help your answer. To do this, you need to show that you understand the focus of the question and provide accurate and relevant detail to back up your points.

Question 5 is a different extension study, so you do Question 6 which is based on public health from 1350 to present day. Part (a) is worth 9 marks and Part (b) is worth 16 marks so you should spend about 30 minutes on the whole of Question 6. Part (a) will ask you to describe or explain an element of the public health extension study. To do this, you need to describe what it is and use detailed information to explain how it happened or why it was significant. Part (b) will give you some information and ask you to write a balanced essay, weigh up the factors and make a conclusive judgement on the changes in public health. To do this, you need to make several points for and against, supported by detail and started by topic sentences, and finish with a balanced conclusion you have reached through your points and the interaction of factors.

Medicine in the Ancient World

The Four Humours was a theory of disease introduced by the Ancient Greek Hippocrates. He believed that your body had four different liquids, linked to seasons that you had to keep in balance or it would affect your health. They were: blood (spring), yellow bile (summer), phlegm (winter) and black bile (autumn).



Galen, a roman doctor working in the 2nd century, developed a ‘theory of opposites’ to treat patients whose humours were out of balance. For example, if a person had too much phlegm (linked to moisture and winter), they should eat hot and peppery food. Galen


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