The Importance of Hippocrates To The History Of Medicine
Hippocrates (460? - 370? B.C.) is acknowledged as the father of modern
medicine. He was born on the island of Kos, and taught medicine there
before dying in Larissa. He is known as the founder of holistic
medicine, because he was the first to attribute illness to be one of
the four elements - fire, water, earth, and air - rather than an
affliction given by the gods. However, locals believed Hippocrates was
a descendant of Asklepios, god of medicine. Hippocrates himself was a
good example of his philosophy: he died aged 104. He is associated
with the Hippocratic Oath and also the Hippocratic Corpus.
Hippocrates stressed the importance of fresh air, a good diet and
plenty of exercise to help the body heal itself. All of Hippocrates'
students had to follow a strict ethical code that governed their
behaviour as doctors known as the Hippocratic Oath. Students swore
that they would maintain patient confidentiality and never
deliberately poison a patient. Even today, doctors entering the
profession can still choose to swear the Hippocratic oath. This oath
was an attempt to place doctors on a higher footing than other healers
and set them apart as specialists. Also medical ethics are still based
on the Hippocratic Oath, which shows that Hippocrates is still
The Hippocratic Corpus is a collection of medical books that doctors
used for centuries. Hippocrates may not have written all of these
books and historians simply cannot tell who wrote them. However, this
collection is important because it is the first detailed list of
symptoms and treatments. Doctors continued to use the theories of
Hippocrates as the basis of their own work for hundreds of years,
which is an important reason why Hippocrates is still considered to be
one of the most important people in the history of medicine.
Hippocrates saw the healthy body as being...