Becoming a physician can be only the first step in a gratifying medical career, but many choose to continue their education in a specialist area. Every physician participates in residency training in a particular medical specialty before going on to specialize in an area of medicine. In order to understand the importance each specialty plays in the successful treatment of a patient, the history of medicine must first be understood.
2000 B.C.—Here, eat this root.
1000 A.D.—That root is heathen. Here, say this prayer.
1850 A.D.—That prayer is superstition. Here, drink this potion.
1920 A.D.—That potion is snake oil. Here, swallow this pill.
1945 A.D.—That pill is ineffective. Here, take this penicillin.
1955 A.D.—Oops . . . bugs mutated. Here, take this tetracycline.
1960–1999—39 more “oops.” Here, take this more powerful antibiotic.
2000 A.D.—The bugs have won! Here, eat this root.
—Anonymous (WHO, 2000) (Institute of Medicine pg. 1)
Medicine is the science and art of healing and covers many health care practices that have evolved to maintain and restore health by the prevention and treatment of illness. Every human society has some medical belief that provides explanations for birth, death, and disease. Throughout time the cause of illness has been thought to be the result of witchcraft, demons, adverse astral influence, or the will of the gods. (Medicine pg. 1)
Prehistoric medicine often relied on plants (herbalism), animal parts and minerals. Medicine in this age was most often related to religion in some way and was performed by priests, shamans, or medicine men. At this point, medicine was not only believed to be natural, but also very reliant on the supernatural. (Medicine pg. 1)
While it seemed that the Romans, Gree...
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