Origin Of Medicine History

In the West, the history of medicine actually started with Hippocrates, an ancient physician who lived with the 4th and 5th centuries BC. For centuries the ideas of Hippocrates were extremely influential and some of the innovations of Hippocrates are referenced even today, for example we often talk of people being hot headed, a phrase relating to his ideas. In fact, Hippocrates is thought of as the father of medicine and throughout the history doctors have followed a set of guidelines relating to conduct, better known as the Hippocratic Oath.

Over the time, the Oath taken by the doctors has changed quite considerably however the meaning has never changed; today also doctors must agree to work for the good of the patients. Galen was another very important and significant figure of ancient times; he came from a wealthy family and learnt his trade in Alexandria in Egypt. Galen carried a lot of brilliant experiments on medicine and made the discovery of the cause of paralysis. His other work on medical field focused on the critical structure and form of the human body and his findings formed an important reference for doctors for centuries.

Later on, in the middle ages, it was the Arabs who made the biggest step in medicinal history as they translated and studied the works of Galen. Whilst they actually followed was the books created by Galen, they also carried out their own medical experiments and innovations and the Islamic doctor Ibn Sina developed the Canon of Medicine which was followed for over 500 years. In the 1800s an American surgeon by the name of Morton developed the concept of anaesthetizing patients before an operation so they do not feel any pain. He used ether which is a colorless liquid, and when inhaled it cause the unconscious state. The use of such a technique is a relatively new concept but an exceptionally important one. It has developed considerably since Morton and it is now possible to simply numb a small section of the body to be operated on.

Back in the days of Galen and Hippocrates all the way up to the 16th century, medicine existed very much in the form of plants and herbs. As people learnt more about pharmacology, they began to replace the herbs and plants with chemical medicines. It was a German scientist by the name of Domagk who actually realized that there are drugs which can kill bacteria, thus preventing disease from spreading.

Other notable discoveries in medicinal history include Fleming's penicillin and Waxman's streptomycin. We all now live in a fantastically advanced medical world and we are lucky to have a wide range of medicines available to treat many illnesses. There is however a lot of illnesses which people cannot treat and scientists are working hard to find cures for common problems such as cancer. Hopefully in centuries to come people will even be more medically advanced and pharmacology will have taken bigger efficient and positive steps towards curing more and more critical diseases.