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Chapter 2 : Hippocrates, the Father of Modern Medicine
This chapter talks about Hippocrates, the first individual in Western civilization to be known for his contributions to medicine from the ancient Greek civilization. Hippocrates is said to have learned medicine from his father, Heraclides. Although medical knowledge was extended during the next 20 centuries, progress in Western medicine was hampered by the steadfast adherence to humoral theory and the Coan approach to disease. Elements of the germ theory of infectious diseases were discovered during these 2,000 years of waiting but could not be incorporated into medicine until the holistic approach of the humoral theory of disease was fully abandoned. Prior to the time of Hippocrates, medicine was taught father to son. In the centuries following the death of Hippocrates, little was added to the practice of medicine, even with notables such as Plato and Aristotle writing extensively on the workings of the human body. Galen's role in the history of medicine is one of paradox. Galen's advances were the result of experimentation; he was one of the first physicians to advocate and use the experimental approach in medicine. Galen combined two methods to describe disease that seemingly had nothing to do with each other: the humoral theory from Hippocrates and the study of anatomy that was acquired from the Alexandrian school.