History of Medicine Study notes for Test 1

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Ancient Egypt Mesopotamia Peru
Dates Civilization Develops
between 3500 BC- 3100
Civilization Develops
3500 BC
Civilization 1100-1533
Conceptual Approach Supernatural Supernatural Supernatural
Doctors Physician-Priests Physician-Priests (even
wetnurses belonged to a
priestly order)
Disease was caused by Gods and Spirits Gods and Spirits Gods Sorcerers
Disease was cured by Spells and Prayers
(prayed to specific gods
for certain diseases)
Divination Kind of
Confession of Sins
Transfer of illness onto
animals. Sacrafice to
appease the gods and
exorcism and confession
Key things about
Very good at taking case
histories and doing
physical exams
Very good at instituting
policies for doctors as
can be seen by the code
of hammurabi
Very good at sugery.
Removal of tumors and
Understood how some
disease came with the
change of the seaons
(idea of contagion)
Not good at Surgery. They only
bandaged not Cut
Important Text Edwin Smith Papyrus
1600 bc discusses case
studies and diagnosis
Ebers papyrus 1550
Spells and prescriptions
Code of Hammurabi
2250 BC
Outlined fees for
medical practice
and punishment for
Sources about medicine
are found in spanish
conquistador writting
Test Practice Questions:
1) Why is research on cultures with oral traditions more difficult? There is no historical written
documentation in which we can study and understand the development and evolution of their
medical practice. We are only able to observe those who practice indigenous medicine in the
present day. This will offer some insight to their medical traditions but that is limited. Much can
change over time through oral passage.
2) Choose a culture in which physical examination is not an essential part of medicine and
explain why it is not essential. Mesopotamia a Physical exam is not an essential part of
medicine as this culture practiced other things. The use of Divination to determine the outcome
of a disease was used. This could have been done through astrology or through hepatoscopy.
Hepatoscopy is the examination of a sacraficed sheeps liver. The spots and lesions on the liver
would be interpreted by the physician-Priest. The priests would then administer drugs or use a
spell if they felt that there would be a favourable outcome.
3) What is the scientific method capable of discovering truth? The scientific method uses the
five senses and tools to observe patterns in the phenomena. These patterns could be physical
biological chemical etc. Hypotheses are generated and then are under scrutiny from fellow
scientists who will test the hypothesis to try and find fault or error. If no error is found the
hypothesis can be taken as fact.
4) When did medicine begin to be practiced as a craft? The first record of medicine being
practiced as a craft was in ancient egypt.