Facts about Hippocrates

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1. An Ancient Greek Physician
Hippocrates is an ancient Greek physician who lived during Greece’s classical period, traditionally regarded as the father of medicine. Medical historians look to Hippocrates because he made a huge impact in medical history and his name is still linked to the founder of medicine as a rational science. He believed that diseases attacked as a result of some natural action instead of being caused by the spirits or gods. Hippocrates was the first recorded chest surgeon, and his discoveries are still rational.

2. Learnt Medicine from his Father
Hippocrates was born around 460 BC on Cos an Aegean island. He was the son of Praxithea and Heracleides. His family was wealthy hence he received a very good education when he was a child. Hippocrates probably studied medicine under his father. He not only studied his father but also another physician, Herodicos, on how they treated patients. Different sources state that he died in 377 BC in Larissa, Greece. Some records state that the Greek physician died at the age of 83 or 90.

3. Hippocratic Corpus attributed to Hippocrates
Hippocratic corpus is a body of writing attributed to Hippocrates. It is a collection of medical books. It consists of 70 books believed to be the oldest known books regarding medicine. Each subject matter is written for a specific reader or student and includes books written for physicians, pharmacists and others written for the layman.

4. Hippocrates’ Hippocratic Oath
Hippocrates established a medical school on the island of Cos where he taught his proposals. In this school, he developed an Oath that reflected his medical ethical perceptions. The Hippocratic Oath is believed by many to be the most famous document of the Hippocratic Corpus. The Hippocratic Oath is an official paper on medical practice ethics and morals. It was credited to Hippocrates, although new information indicates it could have been better if they authored it after Hippocrates death.

5. Separated medicine from religion
Hippocrates separated religion from the medicine discipline insisting that there is no involvement of gods in occurrence of disease. He trusted that illness must have a physical and a rational clarification and refused to agree with the views that a disease could be the result of disfavor of the gods or possession by evil spirits.

6. Treating with the healing power of nature
Hippocrates found his treatment on the healing power of nature. This treatment included a good diet, cleanliness, fresh air, and rest. He was the first man to observe that different people cope with symptoms of the same illness in a different way. Some cope better than others.

7. Hippocrates was first to identify the brain as a source
Hippocrates was first to propose that ideas, thoughts and feelings do not come from the heart but rather originate from the brain. This was a very revolutionary concept during his time.

8. Characterization of illnesses
Hippocrates was the first man to distinguish illnesses. He characterized them as acute, chronic, endemic and epidemic. He incorporated some new medical terms including relapse, crisis, resolution, and exacerbation.

9. First to relate disease symptoms accurately
Hippocrates trusted that the body must undergo a complete treatment and not just a series of parts. He was the first to accurately relate disease symptoms including the symptoms of pneumonia, epilepsy in children, clubbing of the finger and thoracic empyema.

10. Hippocratic school of Medicine
The Hippocratic School gave necessity to examination and recording in clinical practice. The school taught medical practitioners to record their discovery and methods in a very straightforward, unbiased and professional way so that these records could easily be passed down to other physicians. Clinical examinations extended into family history and the environment. Hippocrates in his school incorporated some new medical terms including relapse, crisis, resolution, and exacerbation.


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