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History of Medicine
Medical Schools

Renaissance to 16th-18th century

Renaissance to Early Modern period

The Renaissance brought an intense focus on scholarship to Christian Europe. A major effort to translate the Arabic and Greek scientific works into Latin emerged. Europeans gradually became experts not only the ancient writings of the Romans and Greeks, but in the contemporary writings of Islamic scientists. During the later centuries of the Renaissance came an increase in experimental investigation, particularly in the field of dissection and body examination, thus advancing our knowledge of human anatomy.

The development of modern neurology began in the 16th century with Vesalius, who described the anatomy of the brain and other organs he had little knowledge of the brain"s function, thinking that it resided mainly in the ventricles. Over his lifetime he corrected over 200 of Galen's mistakes. Understanding of medical sciences and diagnosis improved, but with little direct benefit to health care. Few effective drugs existed, beyond opium and quinine. Folklore cures and potentially poisonous metal-based compounds were popular treatments. Indepently from Ibn al-Nafis, Michael Servetus rediscovered the pulmonary circulation, but this discovery did not reach the public cause it was written down for the first time in the "Manuscript of Paris"  in 1546, and later published in the theological work which he paid with his life in 1553. Later this was perfected by Renaldus Columbus and Andrea Cesalpino. Later William Harvey provided a refined and complete description of the circulatory tem. The most useful tomes in medicine used both by students and expert physicians were Materia Medica and Pharmacopoeia.

Paracelsus (1493-1541), was an erratic and abusive innovator who rejected Galen and bookish knowledge, calling for experimental research, with heavy doses of mysticism, alchemy and magic mixed in. The point is that he rejected sacred magic (miracles) under Church auspisces and looked for cures in nature. He preached but he also pioneered the use of chemicals and minerals in medicine. His hermetical views were that sickness and health in the body relied on the harmony of man (microcosm) and Nature (macrocosm). He took an approach different from those before him, using this analogy not in the manner of soul-purification but in the manner that humans must have certain balances of minerals in their bodies, and that certain illnesses of the body had chemical remedies that could cure them.  Most of his influence came after his death. Paracelsus is a highly controversial figure in the history of medicine, with most experts hailing him as a Father of Modern Medicine for shaking off religious orthodoxy and inspiring many researchers others say he was a mystic more than a scientist and downplay his importance.

Padua and Bologna
The University of Padua began teaching medicine in 1222. It played a leading role in the identification and treatment of diseases and ailments, specializing in autopsies and the inner workings of the body.  Starting in 1595, Padua's famous anatomical theatre drew artists and scientists studying the human body during public dissections. The intensive study of Galen led to critiques of Galen modeled on his own writing, as in the first book of Vesalius's De humani corporis fabrica. Andreas Vesalius held the chair of Surgery and Anatomy (explicator chirurgiae) and in 1543 published his anatomical discoveries in De Humani Corporis Fabrica. He portrayed the human body as an interdepent tem of organ groupings. The book triggered great public interest in dissections and caused many other European cities to establish anatomical theatres.
At the University of Bologna the training of physicians began in 1219. The Italian city attracted students from across Europe. Taddeo Alderotti built a tradition of medical education that established the acteristic features of Italian learned medicine and was copied by medical schools elsewhere. Turisanus (d. 1320) was his student. The curriculum was revised and strengthened in 1560-1590. A representative professor wasJulius Caesar Aranzi (Arantius) (1530-89). He became Professor of Anatomy and Surgery at the University of Bologna in 1556, where he established anatomy as a major branch of medicine for the first time. Aranzi combined anatomy with a description of pathological processes, based largely on his own research, Galen, and the work of his contemporary Italians. Aranzi discovered the "Nodules of Aranzio" in the semilunar valves of the heart and wrote the first description of the superior levator palpebral and the coracobrachialis muscles. His books (in Latin) covered surgical techniques for many conditions, including hydrocephalus, nasal polyp, goitre and tumours to phimosis, ascites, haemorrhoids, anal abscess and fistulae.

Catholic women played large roles in health and healing in medieval and early modern Europe. A life as a nun was a prestigious role wealthy families provided dowries for their daughters, and these funded the convents, while the nuns provided free nursing care for the poor.
The Catholic elites provided hospital services because of their theology of salvation that good works were the route to heaven. The Protestant reformers rejected the notion that rich men could gain God's grace through good works and thereby escape purgatory by providing cash owments to institutions. They also rejected the Catholic idea that the poor patients earned grace and salvation through their suffering.  Protestants generally closed all the convents[ and most of the hospitals, sing women home to become housewives, often against their will. On the other hand, local officials recognized the public value of hospitals, and some were continued in Protestant lands, but without monks or nuns and in the control of local governments.
In London, the crown allowed two hospitals to continue their i work, under nonreligious control of city officials. The convents were all shut down but Harkness finds that women&mdashsome of them former nuns were part of a new tem that delivered essential medical services to people outside their family. They were employed by parishes and hospitals, as well as by private families, and provided nursing care as well as some medical, pharmaceutical, and surgical services.
Meanwhile, in Catholic lands such as France, rich families continued to fund convents and monasteries, and enrolled their daughters as nuns who provided free health services to the poor. Nursing was a religious role for the nurse, and there was little call for science.

Age of Enlightenment
During the Age of Enlightenment, the 18th-century, science was held in high esteem and physicians upgraded their social status by becoming more scientific. The health field was crowded with self-trained barber-surgeons, apothecaries, midwives, drug peddlers, and latans.
Across Europe medical schools relied primarily on lectures and readings. In the final year student would have limited clinical experience by trailing the professor through the wards. Laboratory work was uncommon, and dissections were rarely done because of legal restrictions on cadavers. Most schools were small, and only Edinburgh, Scotland, with 11,000 alumni, produced large numbers of graduates.

In Britain, there but three small hospitals after 1550. Pelling and Webster estimate that in London in the 1580 to 1600 period, out of a population of nearly 200,000 people, there were about 500 medical practitioners. Nurses and midwives are not included. There were about 50 physicians, 100 licensed surgeons, 100 apothecaries, and 250 additional unlicensed practitioners. In the last category about 25% were women.  All across Britain&mdashand indeed all of the world the vast majority of the people in city, town or countryside deped for medical care on local amateurs with no professional training but with a reputation as wise healers who could diagnose problems and advise sick people what to do and perhaps set broken bones, pull a tooth, give some traditional herbs or brews or perform a little magic to cure what ailed them.
The London Dispensary opened in 1696, the first clinic in the British Empire to dispense medicines to poor sick people. The innovation was slow to catch on, but new dispensaries were open in the 1770s. In the colonies, small hospitals opened in Philadelphia in 1752, New York in 1771, and Boston (Massachusetts General Hospital) in 1811. 
Guy's Hospital, the first great British hospital opened in 1721 in London, with funding from businessman Thomas Guy. In 1821 a bequest of £200,000 by William Hunt in 1829 funded expansion for an additional hundred beds. Samuel Sharp (1709-78), a surgeon at Guy's Hospital, from 1733 to 1757, was internationally famous his A Treatise on the Operations of Surgery (1st ed., 1739), was the first British study focused exclusively on operative technique.
English physician Thomas Percival (1740-1804) wrote a comprehensive tem of medical conduct, Medical Ethics, or a Code of Institutes and Precepts, Adapted to the Professional Conduct of Physicians and Surgeons (1803) that set the standard for many textbooks.

Compiled By: Dr.Kamran Jalali
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History of Medicine