Past to Present: a Comparative Look at Hippocrates and Medical Theory
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The ideas, decisions and actions we make today shape our tomorrow. The same can be said for our past. Globally, our history has molded the development of the political, economical and philosophical system we have today. One of the biggest influences of history comes from Ancient Greece, and a man by the name of Hippocrates. Hippocrates, an ancient Greek physician and philosopher, practiced and taught medicine to his students. His philosophies and practices influenced the development of Western modern medicine.
Hippocrates (c. 460-377 BC) was born on the Aegean island of Cos, Greece. He learned his medical practices from his father, Heracleides, and Ancient Greek physician Herodicos of Selymbria. Like many big Greek names of the time, Hippocrates was thought to have come from the Gods. He was considered a descendent of Asclepios, the God of Medicine. Two major creations of Hippocrates have upheld the biggest influence on medical history. The peak of his career was during the Peloponnesian War (431-404 B.C), where his healing tactics helped Athenian warriors (“Hippocrates”, 1998).
He wrote the first complete medical books, called, Hippocratic Corpus, a collection of approximately 70 different works that described his medical theories and practices (“Hippocrates”, 1998). He also created the Hippocratic Oath, a document that outlines the ethics and morals of medicine. Although not in their original forms, both Hippocratic Corpus and the Hippocratic Oath are used today. During commencement, graduating medical students around the United States recite a modernized version of the Hippocratic Oath. This oath upholds physicians to the ethical code of medicine, allowing the patient to receive the best possible medical care.
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