Medicine is the applied practice of healing through the act of diagnosis, treatment and disease prevention. As opposed to public or population health, medicine is a patient-focused health profession which is devoted to promoting good health and well-being.
Medicine today has many fields which includes but are not limited to clinical practice, healthcare science and surgery. Clinical practice involves a doctor/physician doing a medical examination personally using his or her own training and judgment. Healthcare science on the other hand refers to the science of delivering the diagnosis and treatment within a healthcare system – healthcare scientists use a combination of medicine, psychology as well as the social aspects of health to help do their job. Surgery refers to a branch of medicine which aims to treat disease or injury through manual means, whether it is through the hands of a surgeon or through instrumental/robotic means.
Medicine has been practiced, in one form or another, for over a million years. It all started with Prehistoric Medicine, where humans were still not able to read and write yet. Such a period is not attributed to one geographic location, as it spanned multiple regions and cultures. According to anthropologists, medicine in the prehistoric times relied on both natural and supernatural causes and treatments – which included a lot of trial and error. For example, prehistoric aboriginals in Australia believed that being sick was attributed to losing one’s soul. Since then, medicine has evolved into one of the most important aspects of society, where diagnosis, treatment and disease prevention have been the standard.
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