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

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


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. ...read more.


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. Alexandra Stewart 27th October 2007 ...read more.

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