Medicine is the art and science of healing.
It encompasses a range of health care practices evolved to maintain and restore health by prevention and treatment of illness.
Early records on medicine have been discovered from early Ayurvedic medicine in the Indian subcontinent, ancient Egyptian medicine, traditional Chinese medicine, the Americas, and ancient Greek medicine.
Early Grecian doctors Hippocrates, is also called the Father of Modern Medicine.
Rhazes, is called the father of pediatrics.
The modern scientific biomedical research (where results are testable and reproducible) began to replace early Western traditions of medicine, based on herbalism.
The practice of medicine combines both science as the evidence base and art in the application of this medical knowledge in combination with intuition and clinical judgment to determine the treatment plan for each individual patient.
Central to medicine is the patient-physician relationship established when a person with a health concern seeks a physician's help;
Other health professionals similarly establish a relationship with a patient and may perform various interventions, e.g. nurses, radiographers, and therapists.
Medicine is practiced within the medical system, which is a legal, credentialing, and financing framework, established by a particular culture or government. The characteristics of a health care system have significant effect on the way medical care is delivered.
Most industrialized countries and many developing countries deliver health care though a system of universal health care which guarantees care for all through a system of compulsory private or co-operative health insurance funds or via government-backed social insurance. The delivery systems may be provided by private medical practices or by state-owned hospitals and clinics, or by charities.
The physician-patient relationship can be analyzed from the perspective of ethical concerns, in terms of how well the goals of non-maleficence, beneficence, autonomy, and justice are achieved.
The quality of the patient-physician relationship is important to both parties.
In some settings, e.g. the hospital ward, the patient-physician relationship is much more complex, and many other people are involved when somebody is ill: relatives, neighbors, rescue specialists, nurses, technical personnel, social workers and others.
Working together as an interdisciplinary team, many highly-trained health professionalso besides medical practitioners are involved in the delivery of modern health care. Examples include: nurses, emergency medical technicians and paramedics, laboratory scientists etc.
The scope and sciences underpinning human medicine overlap many other fields, such as Dentistry, while a separate discipline from medicine, is considered a medical field.
A patient admitted to hospital is usually under the care of a specific team based on their main presenting problem, e.g. the Cardiology team, who then may interact with other specialties, e.g. surgical, radiology, to help diagnose or treat the main problem or any subsequent complications / developments.
Physicians have many specializations and subspecializations into certain branches of medicine.
In the broadest meaning of "medicine", there are many different specialties. However, within medical circles, there are two broad categories: "Medicine" and "Surgery."
"Medicine" refers to the practice of non-operative medicine, and most subspecialties in this area require preliminary training in "Internal Medicine".
"Surgery" refers to the practice of operative medicine, and most subspecialties in this area require preliminary training in "General Surgery."
There are some specialties of medicine that do not fit into either of these categories, such as radiology, pathology, or anesthesia.
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