Hippocrates
Guy Lochhead, 05/11/11
Ancient Greek thinker, widely seen as the “Father of Medicine” for attributing diseases not to superstitious causes but to natural events within the body. Hippocrates’ actual contribution to modern medicine is unclear as various works are attributed to him without any absolute proof. Regardless of those works’ actual authorship, he was undoubtedly a significant figure in ancient medicine. Although his understanding of the causes of ill health have since been rejected, his treatment was advanced and often pretty similar to modern medicine’s. The confusion over the authorship of the “Hippocratic Corpus” and the fact that a lot of it has been disproved prevents me from including any of its content directly. To me, Hippocrates’ most relevant and timeless contribution to medicine was his writing on the role of the physician. He understands the balance between professionalism and human error – something that I think is often lost nowadays, and that a greater understanding of would result in a better working environment. I would like to include the full text of the Hippocratic Oath somehow. It’s an interesting piece of work. I’m going to do an Eye Ball article asking medical students to criticise it, I think.

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