the art and science of healing. It encompasses a range of
health care practices evolved to maintain and restore health
by the prevention and treatment of illness.
Contemporary medicine applies health science, biomedical
research, and medical technology to diagnose and treat
injury and disease, typically through medication, surgery,
or some other form of therapy. The word medicine is derived
from the Latin are medicina, meaning the art of healing.
Though medical technology and clinical expertise are pivotal
to contemporary medicine, successful face-to-face relief of
actual suffering continues to require the application of
ordinary human feeling and compassion, known in English as
It is clear that Prehistoric societies believed in both the
natural and supernatural being able to variably cause and
treat disease. Blame was put on the supernatural—gods, evil
spirits and sorcery, for serious or disabling diseases for
which there was no rational cause. It was believed that evil
spirits could inhabit the body and cause illness within
someone; these spirits could be removed from the body
through the skull by the patient undergoing Trepanning, and
through other treatments carried out by a Medicine man.
Logic and reasoning were used to deduce the cause of
injuries. Injuries, for which there was a clear cause, were
not blamed on the supernatural.