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Why did the doctors follow the ideas of Hippocrates for so long?

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Hippocrates was a Greek philosopher who lived from 460 BC to 377BC.

All of his work involving medicine is of great significance to not only historians, but doctors too. The books written by him, or people who believed in his research, are highly important too because they are the first examples of Greek medical and what it was based upon. There were two earlier philosophers who aided Hippocrates in his work. One was Pythagoras, and he taught that a healthy body was one which was in perfect balance.

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Another one was Alcmaeon of Croton, who was one of Pythagoras’ pupils. He argued that a healthy body had the right balance of hot and cold, wet and dry within it. Any obvious things that were out of balance (like a high temperature) was a sign that the human was ill.Unfortunately, historians do not know a massive amount about Hippocrates himself.

He is associated with medical books, as mentioned above, and these were known as Hippocratic Corpus.

We can not be certain that these books were actually written by him, but they do show us, for the first time, Greek medical thoughts. It is obvious by reading these books, that medicine had evolved more and moved on to caring for the patient as well as the illness. Hippocrates decided he did not want doctors to depend on religious cures or to rely on certain theories of the cause of disease.

He wanted to advise doctors to observe the patients progress whilst curing the illness. He did not agree with religious or ‘magical’ cures. Egyptians also used this system, of observing the patient, but the Greeks developed it into clinical observation. Ideally, the doctors had to follow four steps and these were:o Diagnosis – The doctor would study the patient’s symptoms and they try to see whether the patient is different from normal.

o Prognosis – The doctor would try and predict what the illness will turn into and what further symptoms there will be. Doctors may think back and relate the existing symptoms with past patients.o Observation – The doctor will continue to observe the patient, noting down all changes and developments.o Treatment – The doctor would then treat the patient depending on what symptoms they had.

This will only take place once his observation backs up his prognosis and hopefully, the doctor would feel confident about the treatment he will give the patient.Although the Hippocratic books concentrate on observation, there is still evidence of how Greeks though about causes of disease. They talk about the human body being built up of different elements and parts, and they have to all be in balance for the human to be healthy. Traditional Greek thinking was to try and work out complete theories about things.

Aristotle managed to collect these ideas together and produce a clear statement about causes and treatments of disease. The Greek thinker said that the human body was made up of four parts – blood, phlegm, yellow bile and black bile. The four humours were connected to the four seasons too and this meant that it was possible to connect the illness with season. So, initially, a healthy person had to have all four humours totally in balance.

Doctors had to treat the patient by restoring the balance.Another thing they got from the Hippocratic Corpus was the Hippocratic Oath. The Hippocratic Oath is an oath traditionally taken by physicians pertaining to the ethical practice of medicine. It is widely believed that the oath was written by Hippocrates and he was also known to be the Father of Medicine.

Greek doctors soon became extremely skilled and professional. They took the Hippocratic Oath, which bound them to keep people’s confidences secret, live a good and holy life and not to give poison. Greek doctors were well trained (‘from childhood’), made visits, had a good bedside manner and were careful in their dealings with their patients.Doctors all over the world soon found out about Hippocrates work because of the books.

His research and work was used for years and years onwards. The four humors started to become less popular towards the end of 19th century. This was simply because doctors and scientists were much more educated and knew a lot more about how the human body worked. Up until the 19th century, doctors were desperate for ideas of how to treat patients and desperate to find out how diseases actually occurred.

Hippocrates and Aristotle’s four humors was more or less the only theory that was backed up and explained.It did make sense and seemed to work, so was used until more theories were introduced. I also believe that the Hippocratic Oath and clinical observation is still in use today because it doesn’t involve medicine and so on. The things involved in these two do not allow development or can not be improved.

Also, they must have been extremely successful; otherwise, they would have been discarded a long time ago. Instead they have been kept and are still in use today by everyday doctors.

Cite this Why did the doctors follow the ideas of Hippocrates for so long?

Why did the doctors follow the ideas of Hippocrates for so long?. (2017, Nov 12). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/why-did-the-doctors-follow-the-ideas-of-hippocrates-for-so-long/

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