The evolution of medicine has a long history with procedures carried out since times as ancient as the Paleolithic. In prehistory, medicine was immersed in magical rituals, where shamans and similar figures used preparations based on plants, animals and minerals Rapé.
In the history of medicine, the Egyptians recorded an extensive study of diseases and treatments, dating back to 3,000 BC. Doctors at the service of the pharaohs and their instruments have been captured in tombs and temples.
The so-called medical papyri (2040 to 1795 BC) include Egyptian diagnoses, treatments and medications. The Ebers papyrus stands out in this period for its details of recipes, ointments and instructions for treatments.
Next, we will learn how the historical evolution of medicine was enriched by the research of great philosophers.
Greece and Hippocratic thought in the evolution of medicine
An important school of medicine flourished in Alexandria with exponents such as Herophilus, Erasistratus and Galen. These philosophers, among others, helped develop scientific and philosophical thinking and the Hippocratic orientation of medicine .
Herophilus of Chalcedon ( 335-280 BC ) developed the first comprehensive work on the anatomy and connections of the nervous system. Erasistratus of Ceos ( 304-250 BC ) conducted studies on the brain, blood vessels and nerves.
Aelius Galen or Galen of Pergamon ( 128-200 ), studied medicine with followers of Hippocrates and was physician to several Roman emperors. He was a talented anatomist and also influenced the definition of ethical aspects of medicine with his treatises (Campohermoso, 2016).
Socrates and the ethics of medicine
Socrates the Greek (470 BC) has gone down in history as one of the most important classical philosophers. He stands out for his approach to ethics and morality in patient care.
Socrates carried out studies regarding the functioning of the mind and the understanding of the world. From his practices derive maieutics and the Socratic method , still in use. He also studies the psyche, the development of the inductive method and constructivism, among other areas.
The list of figures who contributed to the evolution of medicine since antiquity and the Middle Ages is much broader, for now let’s move further towards the present.