Two great Alexandrians laid the foundations for the scientific study of anatomy and physiology, Herophilus of Chalcedon and Erasistratus of Ceos.[48] Other Alexandrian surgeons gave us ligature (hemostasis), lithotomy, hernia operations, ophthalmic surgery, plastic surgery, methods of reduction of dislocations and fractures, tracheotomy, and mandrake as an anaesthetic. Some of what we know of them comes from Celsus and Galen of Pergamum.[49]
Caroline Rance blogs at about the history of medical advertising and health fraud. Her book The History of Medicine in 100 Facts (Amberley Publishing, 2015) explores medicine’s history in bite-sized topics, from prehistoric parasites to the threat of antibiotic resistance. You can follow Caroline on Twitter @quackwriter and on Facebook at

Medicine embraced skills such as acupuncture, obstetrics, dentistry, laryngology, ophthalmology, and treatment of rheumatism and paralysis. The demand for improved technology, aided by certain concerns of the Neo-Confucian philosophy, helped to promote numerous investigations that approached the use of scientific methods. Literacy spread with printing,…

Dr. Dysinger has implemented many of the things we have suggested during throughout the Functional Forum. He's incorporated a membership program and fully embraces lifestyle medicine. He's implemented group learning and community outreach, and health coaches and tech tools are an integral part of the success of his practice. He talks about these strategies and more.

Utilizing the Delphi method, 56 experts from a variety of disciplines, including anthropology, medicine, and biology agreed upon 14 core principles intrinsic to the education and practice of evolutionary medicine.[5] These 14 principles can be further grouped into five general categories: question framing, evolution I and II (with II involving a higher level of complexity), evolutionary trade-offs, reasons for vulnerability, and culture. Additional information regarding these principles may be found in the table below.

The establishment of the calendar and the invention of writing marked the dawn of recorded history. The clues to early knowledge are few, consisting only of clay tablets bearing cuneiform signs and seals that were used by physicians of ancient Mesopotamia. In the Louvre Museum in France, a stone pillar is preserved on which is inscribed the Code of Hammurabi, who was a Babylonian king of the 18th century bce. This code includes laws relating to the practice of medicine, and the penalties for failure were severe. For example, “If the doctor, in opening an abscess, shall kill the patient, his hands shall be cut off”; if, however, the patient was a slave, the doctor was simply obliged to supply another slave.
This week on the Evolution of Medicine, we continue our popular “Success Leaves Clues” series. We feature Dr. Bill Hemmer, a chiropractor from central Illinois who is bringing functional medicine to his small hometown with a population of only 4500. It was an incredible half an hour for any health professional who is in the business of trying to transform the health of their community.
The ancient Mesopotamians had no distinction between "rational science" and magic.[8][9][10] When a person became ill, doctors would prescribe both magical formulas to be recited as well as medicinal treatments.[8][9][10][7] The earliest medical prescriptions appear in Sumerian during the Third Dynasty of Ur (c. 2112 BC – c. 2004 BC).[11] The oldest Babylonian texts on medicine date back to the Old Babylonian period in the first half of the 2nd millennium BCE.[12] The most extensive Babylonian medical text, however, is the Diagnostic Handbook written by the ummânū, or chief scholar, Esagil-kin-apli of Borsippa,[13][14] during the reign of the Babylonian king Adad-apla-iddina (1069–1046 BCE).[15] Along with the Egyptians, the Babylonians introduced the practice of diagnosis, prognosis, physical examination, and remedies. In addition, the Diagnostic Handbook introduced the methods of therapy and cause. The text contains a list of medical symptoms and often detailed empirical observations along with logical rules used in combining observed symptoms on the body of a patient with its diagnosis and prognosis.[16] The Diagnostic Handbook was based on a logical set of axioms and assumptions, including the modern view that through the examination and inspection of the symptoms of a patient, it is possible to determine the patient's disease, its cause and future development, and the chances of the patient's recovery. The symptoms and diseases of a patient were treated through therapeutic means such as bandages, herbs and creams.[13]
After AD 400, the study and practice of medicine in the Western Roman Empire went into deep decline. Medical services were provided, especially for the poor, in the thousands of monastic hospitals that sprang up across Europe, but the care was rudimentary and mainly palliative.[69] Most of the writings of Galen and Hippocrates were lost to the West, with the summaries and compendia of St. Isidore of Seville being the primary channel for transmitting Greek medical ideas.[70] The Carolingian renaissance brought increased contact with Byzantium and a greater awareness of ancient medicine,[71] but only with the twelfth-century renaissance and the new translations coming from Muslim and Jewish sources in Spain, and the fifteenth-century flood of resources after the fall of Constantinople did the West fully recover its acquaintance with classical antiquity.
The First Viennese School of Medicine, 1750–1800, was led by the Dutchman Gerard van Swieten (1700–1772), who aimed to put medicine on new scientific foundations—promoting unprejudiced clinical observation, botanical and chemical research, and introducing simple but powerful remedies. When the Vienna General Hospital opened in 1784, it at once became the world's largest hospital and physicians acquired a facility that gradually developed into the most important research centre.[128] Progress ended with the Napoleonic wars and the government shutdown in 1819 of all liberal journals and schools; this caused a general return to traditionalism and eclecticism in medicine.[129]
Mental illnesses were well known in ancient Mesopotamia,[17] where diseases and mental disorders were believed to be caused by specific deities.[6] Because hands symbolized control over a person, mental illnesses were known as "hands" of certain deities.[6] One psychological illness was known as Qāt Ištar, meaning "Hand of Ishtar".[6] Others were known as "Hand of Shamash", "Hand of the Ghost", and "Hand of the God".[6] Descriptions of these illnesses, however, are so vague that it is usually impossible to determine which illnesses they correspond to in modern terminology.[6] Mesopotamian doctors kept detailed record of their patients' hallucinations and assigned spiritual meanings to them.[17] A patient who hallucinated that he was seeing a dog was predicted to die;[17] whereas, if he saw a gazelle, he would recover.[17] The royal family of Elam was notorious for its members frequently suffering from insanity.[17] Erectile dysfunction was recognized as being rooted in psychological problems.[17]
Late 1800s: The expectation in the United States that hospitals for the mentally ill and humane treatment will cure the sick does not prove true. State mental hospitals become over-crowded, and custodial care supersedes humane treatment. New York World reporter Nellie Bly poses as a mentally ill person to become an inmate at an asylum. Her reports from inside result in more funding to improve conditions.