Introduction to the History of Medicine

This compulsory elective subject aims to gain a comprehensive view of medicine through the eyes of history, based on the most interesting medical practices of the past. Introduction to the history of medicine provides medical students with a general overview of medical and healthcare history.



1. Introduction and interpretation of historical sources

2. Prehistoric medicine through the eyes of paleopathology. Advantages/disadvantages of the Neolithic Revolution

3. Papyrus as a source. Common and unusual medical procedures. Medicine in Mesopotamia

4. Tradition of Chinese and Indian Medicine. Past - present – future?

5. Ancient Greece - the cradle of scientific medicine? Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine?

6. Medicine of Ancient Rome. Galenos, his prodecessors and followers

7. Eastern and Western healthcare systems. Parallels and differences. Monastic medicine. Christianity as a social religion

8. Mediaval Islamic medicine. Islam as a social religion

9. Schola Medica Salernitana and Septem artes liberales. First European universities. The most famous faculties of medicine in early modern period

10. Renaissance and Enlightenment not only in medicine. Human anatomy and Andreas Vesalius

11. Scientific medicine of the 19th century. Soul and body. Women in science, women in medicine


Subject attendance 90 %, oral exam




  1. BOWERS, Barbara S. (ed.). The Medieval Hospital and Medical Practice. London 2007
  2. DUIN, Nancy – SUTCLIFFE, Jenny. A History of Medicine: from Prehistory to the year 2020. London; New York 1992.
  3. HALIOUA, Bruno – ZISKIND, Bernard. Medicine in the Days of Pharaohs. London 2005.
  4. PORTER Roy. The Greatest Benefit to Mankind: A Medical History of Humanity. London 1999.
  5. PORTER, Roy (ed.). The Cambridge History of Medicine.
  6. PRIORESCHI, Plinio. A History of Medicine, vol. I: Primitive and Ancient Medicine. Omaha 1996.
  7. PRIORESCHI, Plinio. A History of Medicine, vol. IV: Byzantine and Islamic Medicine. Omaha 2001.
  8. PRIORESCHI, Plinio. A History of Medicine, vol. V: Medieval Medicine. Omaha 2003.
  9. SIRAISI, Nancy G. Medieval and Early Renaissance Medicine: An Introduction to Knowledge and Practice.  Chicago 2009.