Classical Studies 2900 Lecture Notes - Lecture 6: Pus, Aphorism, Techne
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The Medical Profession
•Put patients before yourself
•Alleviate patient's pain but not try to make him healthy again when he didn't know
how - remember that the ultimate decision of life and death lie with the Gods
Aphorism (Passage #53)
•A short paragraph that is usually a statement
•Recommendation of life long learning - the first sentence
•One right time to intervene and this time can past quickly
•Experiment (quiera) - talks about the limitations of medicine and that the outcome
is uncertain and is beyond the control of the physician so the physician must be
aware of the limitations of medicine
•Judgement difficult - many unknown factors that are involved in medicine. Physi-
cians did not really understand what went on inside the body. At that time, human
dissection was not practiced until 300 B.C. and only for a very brief period. The
physician could know about the body only through specific signs such as urine,
stool or sweat.
•The physician must be ready or always on call. He must always be prepared and
must leave nothing to chance.
•He must be ready not only to do his duty himself - the patient must play an active
role in the healing process. Find here an illusion to a certain way of looking at
•Medical practice of Hippocratics has three factors
•There must be a cooperation between the patient and physician in order to conquer
•The Hippocratic physician has learned a trade or techne - any trade has a practi-
cal purpose. The purpose here is healing the patient and this can only be done
with a certain knowledge that is transmitted from student to teacher.
•This includes a practical understanding of the parts of the body.
Fig. 9, Page 29
•Patient is supposed to be young boy, the physician is seated as usual.
•The physician is touching the boys abdomen for the internal organs, probably the
•The physician could discover things by touching the body and looking at the pa-
•We also see that the physician is using all his senses when examining the patient.
This is called palpation - feeling for heat or cold, different growths, tenderness or
•The patient can also use his eyes to note the colour of excretions.
•Could also smell excretions for sweetness or certain qualities.
•Listen to see whether the patient is consistent with his symptoms or listen to
•The physician must make sense of what he sees with his mind.
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