User:LGreg/sandbox/Approaches to Knowledge (LG seminar)/Group 1/History/Ebani Janelle Pia

Ebani, Janelle, Pia

How and when did it emerge? edit

The history of medicine unveils how different societies have changed their outlook to illness and disease from ancient and renaissance medicine to modern medicine.

Although there are no reliable records, using plants for medicinal purposes (herbalism) began over 5000 years ago by the Sumerians in ancient Mesopotamia.

Imhotep is considered to be the 'father' of medicine - the first physician. Based in Ancient Egypt, some of his most notable work includes the development of medical texts regarding the treatment of wounds and injuries.

Modern medicine, or medicine as we know it, started to emerge after the Industrial Revolution in the 18th century. At this time, there was rapid growth in economic activity in Western Europe and the Americas.

How has it changed? edit

Medieval doctors did not have a clue what caused disease. Most doctors still believed the Greek theory from Galen, a doctor during the Roman Empire, that you became ill when the 'Four Humours' - phlegm, black bile, yellow bile, blood - became unbalanced. But they also blamed everything from the stars, to demons, to sin, to bad smells. They trusted supernatural ideas that included God, charms and luck, witchcraft or astrology.

Technological advancements brought about a better understanding of what caused disease. In 1864, Louis Pasteur proved that germs caused disease. Building on Pasteur’s work, other researchers, like Robert Koch, discovered the bacteria which caused other diseases. By 1900, scientists had discovered that viruses also caused diseases and malaria was carried by mosquitoes.

Presently, researchers will stop at nothing to find a proper cure for illnesses in our community, such as cancer and dementia. With this research, we can really increase the chances of saving more lives.

Challenges today edit

One is the upsurge of antibiotic resistance, partly in response to the overuse of antibiotics and also because pathogens, or germs, are adapting to resist them.

Another is the increase in pollution and environmental hazards.

While the 20th century saw a massive drop in fatalities from infection, future centuries could see that number rise again.