Modern medicine has come a long way and to some is proof of the value of science. To understand the discovery of medicine completely we have to go back to the pre-historic times. Despite the obvious progression in medicine in the present day compared with the pre-historic times, there are many similarities. For example, the religious aspect: through the centuries people have prayed for healing from the pre-historic medicine men who cast spells to send away evil spirits, to the present day when people may attend miracle healing sessions or visit a holy place in hope of a cure.
Another example is the use of herbal remedies. People are starting to avoid the use of manufactured harmful chemicals and are leaning more toward the use of earth’s natural resources. These cures were also followed during the prehistoric period. Although we can say we have come a long way since the prehistoric period, it’s hard to know the exact procedures followed during this time because there were no written records or documentation. We do know, however, that pre-historic people did perform some simple surgery. The most well known is trepaning which means cutting a hole in a person’s skull.
It was believed that this was done to allow the evil spirits to leave the body. We know that some patients survived the operation since skulls from the time have been found with the bone grown back over the hole. Another early civilization that practiced the progression of medicine was the ancient civilization on Egypt. Egypt had a much higher chance of progressing in medicine because ideas could be shared much easier and residents lived much closer together. They also had developed a writing system which allowed theories and ideas to be recorded for the next generations.
The Egyptians medical practices were behind and not very advanced. This was mainly due to their culture and religion which believed their bodies were needed for the after-life. Next were the Middle Ages, during this period Christians believed that the sick should be cared for and because of this the Christian Church set up hospitals. These hospitals were very different from modern day hospitals, since the main cure given to patients was prayer. Many of these hospitals would even ban patients from entering that had contagious diseases.
Another important contribution to the medical progress that was made during this time was made by the Islamic on medicine was the work of alchemists. They discovered many chemicals which later were used as cures for disease. The Renaissance helped the medical progress in many ways. Renaissance art is one example that changed the medical progress. The art is much more realistic than the art in the middle ages and this influenced medicine in two ways. Firstly, doctors such as Vesalius could employ artists to draw realistic diagrams in their medical books to spread the ideas.
For artists to draw realistically they really needed to know about what the human body was like inside so they pushed for more observation among all. This is something that would also help doctors. During The 18th-19th century germs were discovered and found to cause and spread disease. A doctored named Robert Koch searched for the germs which caused more diseases and tracked down many, He was able to track the germ which causes tuberculosis. Koch was recognised for his work with many honours including the Nobel Prize for Medicine. In the 18th century college proved important through the Royal College of Surgeons.
This was a huge move in the importance toward medicine. Surgeons were now viewed as more educated and could improve surgery methods. The next discovery among the progression of medicine was among the lines of the storage of blood. This was discovered in the 20th century during World War 1. Soldiers at this time were in need of blood. Finally, somebody had the idea of separating the plasma from the rest of the blood so that blood could be stored effectively and given to patients who needed it after operations. The progression of medicine recently has been developing rapidly in all areas.
This is most likely due to improvements in communication and teamwork between people all over the world. Surgery is being developed and chemists are always searching for new drugs. Research and development is constantly being performed in new areas. One which is gaining a considerable amount of interest is the mapping of the human genome which could open up new ways of screening for diseases and creating donor organs. The progression of medicine will always continue to grow and find new cures but we’ll always remember where it came from and still be able to turn back for guidance if needed.