Medical science has come a long way since the time when Hippocrates, known as the Father of Western Medicine, practiced as a physician in Hellenistic Greece. What we come to take as given nowadays as far as healthcare is concerned was not so simple in those days. At present, high-quality treatment and aftercare are available for a host of illnesses, ailments, diseases, and disorders that were practically unimaginable even a few decades back.
The credit for furthering medical sciences goes to umpteen men and women who toiled selflessly with the single-point objective of improving the quality of human life. The noteworthy contributions made by a few personalities have been detailed in the following paragraphs.
- Hippocrates (460BC-370BC)
Hippocrates considered the ‘Father of Modern Medicine’, served as a general practitioner in Greece in the 5th century BC. His avant-garde ideas benefited his countrymen in several ways. He proposed that one’s physical and mental wellbeing was influenced by environmental factors, diet, and lifestyle. Since cutting up dead bodies for examining the anatomical structures was regarded as immoral and unholy, treatment was carried out the basis of conjectures and assumptions. He penned the Hippocrates Corpus-a body of work that details the progression and symptoms of diseases. He also created the Hippocratic Oath that physicians swear by even to this day before embarking on a medical career.
- Sigmund Freud (1856-1939)
Sigmund Freud, looked upon as the ‘Father of Psychoanalysis’ was an Austrian psychiatrist and neurologist. He was consulted by patients suffering from different forms of psychotic and neurotic disorders and illnesses. He strongly opposed the conventional treatment methods that proved to be largely ineffective. He was one of the earliest proponents of the hypothesis that the so-called hysterical illnesses had a psychological base. He pioneered the technique of treating these illnesses by interacting with the patients which later on proved to be the basis of psychoanalysis.
- Sir Archibald McIndoe (1900-1960)
Archibald McIndoe was a physician and a RAF plastic surgeon who hailed from New Zealand. Archibald is credited with developing new skin grafting processes.
- Florence Nightingale (1820-1910)
Florence Nightingale who earned the epithet, ‘Lady with the Lamp’ was the first nurse to establish a college for training nurses in London in 1860. She pioneered the significance of clinical training for speeding up recuperation of patients.
There have been several other men and women who have glorified medical science with their contributions.