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History of medicine - Essay Example

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History of medicine

Starting with the English medical professions in the 17th and 18th centuries, one of the most major and significant factors here is the fact that of little was actually known in regards to the field of medicine itself; "Very little was known about hygiene in the 17th century. People were not aware that disease was spread by germs which thrived on dirt. They did not think of washing their hands before eating or dressing a wound, so diseases could spread quickly" (National Maritime Museum, 2007). One of the most influential doctors in the medical profession at this time was Nicholas Culpeper, who was an English botanist, herbalist, physician, and astrologer, and who also published several books in his time. Culpeper worked to "bring medicinal treatments from the mysterious to the comprehensible. His philosophy was to teach the common folk to minister to themselves by providing them with the tools and knowledge for self health" (Wikipedia, 2007).
In regards to the Colonial medical professions in the 17th and 18th centuries, there are both similarities and differences when compared to that of the previously discussed. For instance, one of the most major similarities is in regards to how the physician attitudes to popular or lay medicine, which was for the most part generally permeable to ideas from conventional and more standard practice, as well had a very serious bearing on that of variations in the medical practice itself. Then on the other hand, one of the biggest differences between the Colonial medical profession from that of the English medical profession during this time is in regards to how the Colonial medical practitioners placed a lot of confidence on the supposition that popular medicine rested on generations of experience and that folkways were a prudent and economical alternative to many of the more expensive treatments.
There are several different factors in particular which led to the development of clinical medicine in France in the first half of the 19th century, and this includes that of: genomics, human genetics, hygiene, pharmacology, and scientific research. Another issue that is incredibly relevant and significant here is that of the impact of the French Revolution on the development of clinical medicine in France during the first half of the 19th century, and the French Revolution really did have quite an impact in this regards. During the first half of the 19th century, great evolutions were being made in regards to the field of medicine; new medical schools were developing, and Paris was just one significant location in France which was quickly working its way towards becoming the world center in science and medicine. The French Revolution caused many changes throughout France, many of which had an incredibly significant impact on the field of medicine, the majority of which resulted positively.
From this review we can conclude many different things, several which are of particular importance, such as the fact of how similar and different the English and Colonial medical professions were in the 17th and 18th centuries, as well as what factors are considered to have led to the development of clinical medicine in France during this time, as well as during the first half of the 19th century, and furthermore we have also been able to understand about the impact that ...Show more


The field of medicine is one which has a longer history than almost any and every other field in the world, as medicine has been present in different forms since as far back as the beginning of time. Two of the most influential and significant periods in history in regards to medicine are the English and Colonial medical professions in the 17th and 18th centuries…
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History of medicine essay example
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