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There are two essential elements to medicine. The field covers a) the science or discipline of healing, which includes the diagnosing of illnesses and diseases, preventing these, and treating these; b) the administration of medications, substances, and drugs for the purpose of treating and curing diseases, and for the promotion of good health. This article deals with healing, the history of healing – from ancient times to the present day – and the medicines and healing practices that are commonly used.
There are those who might define medicine as a regulated health-providing profession that is focused on the patient, most specifically in terms of their well-being and health.

Irrespective of which way you want to describe medicine, its meaning remains the same i.e. the diagnosing, treating and preventing of diseases, caring for those who are ill, and devotion to the well-being and health of people in general.

Medicine in the modern age covers a number of areas related to the science and practices in this field, such as:

  • The practice of clinical medicine: A physician personally undertakes an assessment of the patient with the aim of diagnosing, treating, and preventing possible diseases using their clinical knowledge and the training they have received.
  • The science of healthcare: This field is a multi-disciplinary one that deals with applying science, engineering (including mathematics), and technology to deliver patient care. Scientists who are involved in healthcare are tasked with diagnosing, treating, caring for, and supporting patients in healthcare systems. This differs from the role of those who are involved in medical research.
  • Research in the field of biomedicine: This is a wide-ranging scientific area that aims to find ways of preventing and treating the diseases that cause death in humans and/or in animals. The field covers the areas of both life sciences and physical sciences. Scientists in this field employ biotechnology methods for the study of biological diseases and processes. The ultimate aim of these studies is the development of effective cures and treatments.
  • Dealing with medications: This includes the selection and administration of medicines and drugs. The term ‘medication’ can be defined as chemical-based substances that are used for diagnosing, preventing, treating and curing diseases.
  • Surgery: This area of medicine is focused on the diagnosing and the treating of diseases, injury and deformities by manual and instrumental methods. This can involve surgical procedures such as those involving the replacement or removal of organs or tissue. In most cases, surgery is undertaken in an operating theater or room, in a laboratory, a dentist’s office, or at a veterinary practice/clinic.
  • Devices used in medicine: These include any apparatuses, instruments, in vitro reagents, implants and/or any implements or articles used for diagnosing diseases and a variety of medical conditions.
  • History or evolution of medicine: For many, many years (more than a million in fact), humans have practiced medicine in one form or other. To understand how this field has reached its present point, it is necessary to read or study the history of the subject.
  • Alternative remedies/medicine: This includes any potions or practices that purport to heal but fall outside the sphere of traditional or conventional medicines. In the majority of cases, the use of alternative medicine has its roots in historical or cultural traditions rather than in scientific research.


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