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A History of Medicine

A Half-Day History From Hippocrates To Neurobionics
MBI A History of Medicine Tutorial


A glorious voyage through the ages from early Babylonian medicine to 21st century molecular medicine. This tutorial provides students with a rich context in which to consider scientific and medical advances, and provides a glimpse of what is on the horizon. 



This new tutorial provides a fascinating introduction to the history of scientific and medical progress over the past 7,000 years or so. The study of medical history is deemed important for many reasons. In its simplest sense it clearly illustrates the origins of our current knowledge – how we got to where we are now. However, it also allows us to see the bigger picture, understanding how illness can impact on society and  reinforcing the importance of evidence-based treatment today. Aristotle once wrote that the more information we have about a particular topic, the more likely we are to reformulate and revise our hypotheses. Pasteur’s demonstrations of the importance of the tubular microscope in the study of yeast helped the shift away from the Hippocratic-Galenic humoral theory that had prevailed for two millennia. Even today, paradigms are in a continual state of evolution. An understanding of the history of medicine and scientific enquiry enables the student to evaluate and appreciate the rapid changes occurring within fields such as molecular medicine.


This tutorial has been written for the scientist and non-scientist alike. It is intended to enrich existing knowledge about specific cultures and world history, whilst illustrating the course of scientific learning over millennia.

Which Students Will Benefit From The Tutorial?


This tutorial is designed primarily for able A-level students studying subjects such as biology, history and philosophy. It will also be useful to:

  • any A-level student with an interest in the history of scientific discovery and medical breakthroughs

  • any students considering a university degree and/or career in the following subjects:


            Medicine                     History

            Nursing                       Philosophy
            Biomedical Science   Psychology

Aims of The Tutorial

There are two main aims to this tutorial:

  • to provide the student with a contextual overview of how science and medicine have co-evolved from ancient societies and cultures through to 21st century molecular medicine.

  • to explore, through the use of two focus windows, how war has impacted on medical discovery and how psychiatry has developed.

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