History of Medicine Egyptians

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History of Medicine



  • 1700 BC Edwin Smith Papyrus

  • Reveals that Egyptians recognized a relationship between the ___________________________________________________

  • Anatomical education was the embalming process:

    • Removal of the perishable parts of the body such as the _________________, ______________________, and __________________________ to preserve the rest of the body.

Early Contribution from Religion

  • Egyptians evolved an extensive medical vocabulary and wrote the first medical texts

  • Topics included: effects of injury, diseases, experiments in surgery and pharmacy.

  • They learned to use splints and bandages with skill.

Greek Practices

  • Early Greek medicine focuses largely on ______________________________________________________________.

  • The Greeks establish and erect grand temples to worship Asclepius, the god of healing.

  • Believe sickness to be both psychic and physical.

  • Healers use local vegetation to make ointments and other herbal remedies

  • Hippocrates developed:

Medieval Sense and Nonsense

  • Doctors of the Middle Ages often practiced accurate diagnostic techniques for ailments but then treated them with irrelevant and sometimes fatal cures.

  • Believed disease, illness, and death was caused by __________________________, ______________________________, and ____________________________.

  • By the end of the 1500s, physicians across Europe were required by law to calculate the position of the moon before carrying out complicated medical procedures, such as surgery or bleeding

Harrassing the Body’s Humors

  • Greeks thought disease was caused by influences on the body’s blood, phlegm, black bile, and yellow bile.

  • Doctors commonly assessed a persons humor’s (bodily fluids) to treat their ailments.

  • Bloodletting-

  • Uroscopy-

    • Thought to be made of 4 layers – cloudiness at the top indicated a disease of the head, bottom layer indicated a bladder disorder, and so on

Primitive Surgeons of the Skull

  • Trephination

    • Performed to release the body of “spirits” of people suffering from fractures, epilepsy, migraines, and depression.

  • No drugs needed because scalp is insensitive to pain

  • Surgery lasted 30 minutes to several hours

  • About half the patients survived (remarkably)


  • Paracelsius and Vesalius’ achievement began to take off.

  • Technology provided the next great threshold of exploration, the invention of the microscope

Military History

  • Civil War

    • ____________________________ amputations performed during Civil War

    • More than 1/3 of all amputees died after surgery from _________________________________________ or ___________________________.

  • World War I

    • X-ray was invented in _____________________.

    • Revealed foreign objects such as shrapnel and bullets, allowing for quicker and more precise surgery.

    • _______________________________: a system to ration limited medical resources and treat the most patients possible. Literally means “to sort”.

  • World War II

    • By 1943, oral antibiotics like ______________________ replaced topical powders like _____________________ to beat infection.

    • _________________________________________________: process of separating the components of whole blood and freezing them separately for future use.

  • Iraq War

    • Bandage formed from chitin, found in ___________________________________ can help stop heavy bleeding.

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