Born: c.460 BC at Kos, Ancient Greece
Died: c.370 BC at Larissa, Ancient Greece
Hippocrates was an ancient Greek physician who was born around 460 BC on Cos, an Aegean island. Many consider him to be the “father of medicine” because he transformed the path of Greek medicine. He believed that diseases were caused by some type of natural action instead of being caused by the spirits or gods. His Early Life: Hippocrates was the son of Praxithea and Heracleides. His family’s wealth allowed him to receive a very good education when he was child. After studying nine years of reading, spelling, writing, physical education, poetry, singing, and music, he attended two years of secondary school. Hippocrates likely studied medicine under his father. He observed not only his father, but also another physician, Herodicos, on how they treated patients. His training may have included trips to the Greek mainland and quite possibly to Libya and Egypt to learn other medical practices. Later Work: Hippocrates was given credit for healing many, such as Macedonia’s king, whom he had treated for tuberculosis. His dedication to healing was tested when he fought the plague in Athens for three years from 430-427 BC. The peak of his career occurred during the time of the Peloponnesian War (431-404 BC).Later, Hippocrates taught medicine to his own sons, Draco and Thessalus. The physician and teacher role blended well when Hippocrates started a school for medicine in Cos around 400 BC. One of the main things that he taught was that it was important to keep a record of the patient’s condition and symptoms. The Hippocratic Corpus: A body of writing that has been attributed to Hippocrates is the Hippocratic Corpus, a collection of medical books. It contains 70 books and they are considered to be the oldest known books about medicine. Each subject matter was written for a particular reader or student. Some books were written for physicians and some for pharmacists while others...
References: Hippocrates and his ideas are referred even today. The ‘Hippocratic Oath’ is a historical practice where doctors take oaths and swear to follow and practice medicinal paths ethically. The Hippocratic Corpus has a mention of rectal speculum which is regarded as the earliest reference to endoscopy. Hippocrates started the introduction and expansion of clinical observations into family history and environmental factors along with pulse reading of patients. These measures have been adopted and are referred even today. Modern day case histories bear fruits of the Hippocratic era. The ancient practice of clinical inspection and observation rampant during Hippocrates’ time has modern day relevance.
Hippocrates is believed to have died in 370 BC in Larissa, Greece. Some records state that the Greek physician died at the age of 83 or 90. Some other accounts claim that Hippocrates had lived more than 100 years.
Hippocrates (460-375 BC) was the first to describe cutaneous ulcers under the heading of herpes esthiomenos. From what we can tell, Herbernus of Tours was the first to apply the term lupus to a skin disease in 916 AD. Following this, a number of terms including lupus, noli me tangere, and herpes esthiomenos were used to describe cutaneous ulcers. Willan (1757-1812) expanded the classification of skin diseases using the term herpes for vesicular diseases and lupus for destructive and ulcerative diseases of the face. The first clear description of lupus erythematosus was by Biett and was reported by his student Cazenave under the term erythema centrifugum in 1833. In 1846 Hebra, under the name of Seborrhea Congestiva described disc-shaped patches and introduced the butterfly simile for the malar rash. In 1851 Cazenave renamed erythema centrifugum, calling it lupus erythematosus and gave a classic description of discoid lupus erythematosus. In 1872 Kaposi subdivided lupus into the discoid and systemic forms and introduced the concept of systemic disease with a potentially fatal outcome. Hutchinson alluded to the photosensitive nature of the rash and may have provided the earliest description of what is now called annular subacute cutaneous lupus. In 1894 Payne used quinine in the treatment of patients with LE and postulated the presence of a vascular disturbance. In 1902, Sequira and Balean published a large series of patients with discoid and systemic LE and provided clinical and pathologic details of a young woman who died of glomerulonephritis. In 1904, Jadassohn published an exhaustive review of discoid and systemic LE, including clinical features and pathologic findings. Between 1895 and 1904 Sir William Osler published 29 cases of what was termed the erythema group of diseases. Perhaps his major contribution was to show that skin diseases could be accompanied by a variety of systemic manifestations. In retrospect most of his patients suffered from diseases other than SLE and it was only in his 1904 paper that two cases with SLE were described. He did not acknowledge this diagnosis in his cases and we share the viewpoint that his contribution to the study of SLE has been overemphasized.
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