Medicine as a science is the study and practice of healing living things, although the medicine articles on Direct Knowledge focus on humans. This involves diagnosing, treating, and preventing disease to all extents possible. Modern medicine applies a range of scientific principals and research, making it highly advanced compared to any point in history. Medicine as it was performed before the rise of science is now referred to as “traditional” or “folk” medicine, collectively “alternative” medicines. In the modern discipline, the focus is on safety, quality, efficacy, and access. Learn more about the field and all its intricacies with the medicine articles in this category of Direct Knowledge.
Articles on Medicine History and Background
Medicine truly originates from nature, where ancient hunters and gatherers would figure out that certain plants or animal secretions had certain effects. Rub one on your skin and it soothes it, eat another and it calms your stomach. What modern medicine has done is figure out what exactly in those plants causes those reactions and why. We can then isolate the chemical compound, concentrate it, or alter it to make it more effective.
Previous to the heavy utilization of science in the field, medicine was actually considered an “art” in that knowledge and skill were the most important keys to success. Keeping track of the huge number of plants and animals that could be used for healing was a tough task. It took a lot of memorization and exposure to a variety of different cases to be able to recognize rare ones. Of course this is still true, but now the scientific process adds to the process. Some parts of medicine still require an artful hand and skill gained from experience, but other parts are only available due to scientific advancements and discovery.
In addition to natural substances with medicinal effects, the tools used to perform procedures are greatly important in their own right. Archaeological evidence and ancient texts show that tools used for surgery existed in the first and second century BC. Technology these days has led to highly advanced tools that increase the success rate and decrease complications from medical procedures.
Although a great deal of progress has been made over time, we're living in the age of medical progress. The articles found in this category will help keep you up to date on current events and big advancements.
Traditional and Alternative Medicine
The old ways of doing things in the field of medicine are actually still around. However, anything that has undergone scientific testing and proven to work effectively is what is classified as “medicine”. This means that anything else is classified as alternative, traditional, folk, or pseudo-medicine. Even if they do seem to work, they have not been scientifically proven to do so.
These medicines are particularly popular in countries of lower development levels where misinformation is common, funding for more advanced medicine is lacking, and local tradition has a strong pull on people. Because these treatments are not scientifically sound, they can actually have negative effects from improper use, thus caution should be exercised. The medicine articles here maintain the distinction between these parts of the field, making sure you're aware of the important differences.
Branches of Medicine and Related Articles
The fields that fuel medicine are primarily the biological sciences. They include anatomy, biochemistry, genetics, molecular biology, neuroscience, physiology, and various others. These are the sciences that form the foundation of knowledge for every modern physician practicing medicine. They are also the areas in which medical scientists perform research in the hopes of advancing the field even further. In addition to medicine articles, reading articles on these related sciences can boost your knowledge and critical thinking in the area.
Because of the huge spectrum of fields and information, many specialties exist in medicine. After all, one doctor can only remember so much. This might be why AI is on the verge of overtaking humans when it comes to making diagnoses. They're able to store and utilize much more information, as well as “read” new research almost instantaneously as it comes out. Robots are also used for other specialized tasks, like delicate surgeries. But, given the huge number of specialties, humans still reign over the vast majority of them. And they'll probably continue to do so for a while.
Groups of specialized medical professionals stick together to be sure they are all up to date on the newest and most relevant advancements in their area. Usually the specialty focuses on a certain type of system within the body, or a certain type of body (think genders, ages, and individual health conditions). Within each area, specialties also fit into the sub-categories of “medicine” or “surgery,” where medicine is non-operative. A few specialties don't quite fit into either of these, including anesthesia, pathology, and radiology. With so many areas to look at, the articles here will always provide something new to explore.
When medicine crosses over with other areas of science and study, new fields emerge. Some examples include medical ethics, biomedical engineering, forensic medicine, sports medicine, and veterinary medicine. Each of these applies medicine to a certain area that requires additional knowledge, skills, and research in its own right. This is where reading articles from other categories can help you get a wider picture, and maybe pique new interests.
Articles About Careers in Medicine
With so many fields and sub-fields, paths to take for careers are equally as varied. A medical scientist will stay on the research and development side of things. They work in laboratories, and usually require a doctoral degree to earn a median salary of about 84,000 dollars per year.
Practicing medical doctors, physicians, and surgeons, on the other hand, work directly with patients to cure their ailments. This means they take on a lot more responsibility and liability, and need more experience in the form of residency and training. Their much higher salary, which is “equal or greater to” 208,000 dollars, reflects these differences. You can check out some exceptional physicians and their careers here.
Modern medicine increasingly uses scientific methods and advanced techniques to solve problems relating to health. This means a lot of workers in the field spend their time in laboratories conducting experiments and trials. But, there’s still plenty of opportunity to work one-on-one with patients and see their lives change for the better. The books here on Direct Knowledge can help you find your niche, and propel you along the path toward reaching your goals.
Medicine Books for Promoting Well-Being
Medicine isn't just pills and bandages; it is a wide field with doctors, nurses, and other specialists doing many tasks. It includes the diagnosis of disease, as well as treatments, prevention, research, and more. The goal of all this is to promote health and wellness in all people.
But the human body is a complex thing, so there's not always consensus on how to go about doing this. In the medicine books here you can take a look at the many facets of this field, from the basics and simple definitions to the debates and new developments.
For example, books such as Anatomy and Physiology start at square one. Through this book, students and curios minds can learn about the human body and how it works. As it was written by ten senior authors and many other contributors, it has a wide perspective that's not only great for students but also a useful tool for professors looking to create lesson plans.
After such foundation books, students can move on to medicine books such as Field Trials of Health Interventions. It gives students a look into the real world of ever-changing medicine by explaining how professionals conduct trials. In these trials, certain methods are necessary for finding the best ways to treat and prevent diseases. Students will learn about field trials of the past and present, as well as how to conduct their own with high standards.
Conventional and Alternative
Conventional medicine is a good place to start for the basics. In the modern sense, it is what we think of when we think about hospitals and trained doctors. It includes the use of medicine (aka drugs), surgery, and general support of lifestyle changes to promote health.
This field doesn't only include medicine in the sense of drugs. It also includes other treatments like counseling and physical therapy. But, the main trait of this type of medicine is that it uses scientific evidence and clinical trials to confirm results. The methods go through tough testing to show they work.
The medicine books in this category focus on such conventional medicine, but there is another type of practice to be aware of: alternative methods. This includes acupuncture, homeopathy, herbal medicine, and more. Some of the methods in this type of medicine are similar to “complementary” methods used in conventional medicine.
For example, relaxation, meditation, herbal supplements, and art therapy are lifestyle choices that might help people feel better in certain ways. But the difference is that any benefits of these practices are not tested with clinical trials and scientific methods. This can make some treatments verge on dangerous, as they claim to have certain benefits but might also have unknown harmful side effects. The medicine books here may discuss these pros and cons of alternative medicines.
A Range of Medicine Book Options
Within the two areas mentioned above, you can find many sub-topics. Clinical practice includes working directly with patients to give them treatment such as medicine and surgery. But in addition to practice itself, there are other areas which aid it. Research, lab work, creating medical devices: anything that doesn't involve working directly with patients and applying medical practices.
The road to a career in medicine can be a long one, especially if looking to become a doctor. But our range of medicine books is here to help you in your problem areas, and it's just a click away for anyone around the world.