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John Hunter's Life and Accomplishments

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When speaking in medical terms and their beginnings, one must always lend credit to the Greeks as well as the entitled father of medicine, Hippocrates himself (Britannica 1). Even the most distinguished doctors today swear by the Hippocratic Oath (Passions and Tempers 1) and use the Corpus Hippocratum as their standard of practice (Medical Ethics 1). Hippocrates is most known for discovering diseases and keyed the central theories involving humorism. He focused the wellbeing of one’s body rather than praying to deities and unnecessary sacrifices (Nlm 1). This included restoring one’s humors by exercising, dieting and the occasional phlebotomy (Nlm 2). Elder forms of surgery also include trepanation and bone setting. John Hunter with extensive knowledge and surgery and skillful hands, used some of these techniques early on in his career.

Phlebotomy or bloodletting was a treatment that was believed to cure nearly any ailment one had. It was believed that the patient would have a sickness stemming from a plethora, or overabundance of blood (History of Bloodletting 1). This was also assigned to one whose humors were out of balance. Bloodletting cured a wide arrangement of illnesses including acne, leprosy, plague, herpes, the flu, fever, nosebleeds, headaches, back pain, just about anything. Its earliest known practice was by Hippocrates himself to liberate relieve those who are possessed by demons. Besides mapping the blood vessels and snipping them (Galen 1) in certain places to cure patients, Trepanation invades a whole different territory. Trepanation involves making a hole into the skull to enhance one’s overall wellbeing while relieving pressure off the brain. This procedure was practiced by the Greeks and even dates as far as ...

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