Medieval Medicine

  • Richard Colgan


Three Arabic physicians are highlighted in this section looking at origins of the art of medicine as lived and taught by great physicians in the dark ages. Following a common theme in this book, each physician leader looked back at the collective works and influences of those before them and each was known for advancing more than the art of medicine. Rhazes built on Hippocrates urging of greater usage of the powers of observation to advocating for one of the earliest efforts of scientific inquiry in caring for the patient. Pursuit of the truth in medicine was an important legacy of Rhazes as was his admonition to have humility about the limits of our art. Another Arabic physician, Avicenna was another champion of the power of observation, evidence-based medicine, clinical trials, and the care of the poor. Avicenna recognized that suffering may be due to emotional disorders as well as physical disorders. The third Arabic physician discussed in this chapter was not Islamic as were Rhazes and Avicenna, but a Jewish leader, for whom medicine was a vocation. Moses Maimonides is known by those of the Judaic religion for his theological and philosophical contributions, more so than what he added to the field of medicine. The life he lived and the Oath and Physicians Prayer of Maimonides exemplify the art of medicine.


Allergic Rhinitis Great Physician Great Teacher Educate Health Professional Arabic Physician 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Family & Community MedicineUniversity of Maryland School of MedicineBaltimoreUSA

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