Medicine is field of applied science and art of healing. It encompasses a variety of health care practices evolved to maintain and restore health by the prevention and treatment of illness in human beings. Contemporary medicine applies health science, biomedical research, and medical technology to diagnose and treat injury and disease, typically through medication or surgery, but also through therapies as diverse as psychotherapy, external splints & traction, prostheses, biologics, ionizing radiation and others. The word medicine is derived from the Latin ars medicina, meaning the art of healing.
Prehistoric medicine incorporated plants (herbalism), animal parts and minerals. In many cases these materials were used ritually as magical substances by priests, shamans, or medicine men. Well-known spiritual systems include animism (the notion of inanimate objects having spirits), spiritualism (an appeal to gods or communion with ancestor spirits); shamanism (the vesting of an individual with mystic powers); and divination. The field of medical anthropology examines the ways in which culture and society are organized around or impacted by issues of health, health care and related issues. Statuette of ancient Egyptian physician Imhotep, the first physician from antiquity known by name. An ancient Greek patient gets medical treatment: this aryballos probably contained healing oil The Greek physician Hippocrates, considered the father of medicine. Persian polymath, Avicenna, who, along with Imhotep and Hippocrates, has been called the “father of medicine” Early records on medicine have been discovered from ancient Egyptian medicine, Babylonian medicine, Ayurvedic medicine (in the Indian subcontinent), classical Chinese medicine (predecessor to the modern traditional Chinese Medicine), and ancient Greek medicine and Roman medicine.
The Greek physician Hippocrates, the “father of medicine”, laid the foundation for a rational approach to medicine. Hippocrates introduced the Hippocratic Oath for physicians, which is still relevant and in use today, and was the first to categorize illnesses as acute, chronic, endemic and epidemic, and use terms such as, “exacerbation, relapse, resolution, crisis, paroxysm, peak, and convalescence”. The Greek physician Galen was also one of the greatest surgeons of the ancient world and performed many audacious operations, including brain and eye surgeries. After the fall of the Western Roman Empire and the onset of the Early Middle Ages, the Greek tradition of medicine went into decline in Western Europe, although it continued uninterrupted in the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire