History of Medicine Course

History courses for your students

Do you want to save dozens of hours in time? Get your evenings and weekends back?

If so, you'll love our interactive history courses. Your students will be able to work through courses on specific history topics, track their progress, take quizzes to test their knowledge, and finish with a final assessment test.

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Course Overview

Medical practice has always existed. Although (naturally) we have few traces of medical knowledge (and phytotherapy) of people from prehistory, we have found skulls of that time bearing marks of trepanation. From two great civilisations of antiquity, the Mesopotamians and Egyptians, come the oldest medical texts known (with the exception of China, whose medicine developed away from Western civilisation, and without mutual influence). Medicine was also found on all continents. It was mainly traditional and practised by many cultures.

Medical knowledge during the Middle Ages was derived from the Greco-Roman. In general, medieval civilisations carried out medical practices that today are considered unhygienic, hazardous, and unreasonable. Therapy relapsed into magic and prayer, fantastical and often revolting concoctions, charms and amulets, and faith healing.

The Renaissance Period was an era in Europe when culture, art, politics, economics, and medicine experienced a rebirth following the Medieval Period. This period took place between the 14th and 17th centuries and was characterised by rediscovery of philosophy, art, and literature. Many historians believed that this period marked the gap between the Dark Ages and modern civilisation. After the Black Death during the Medieval Period, Renaissance medicine increased anatomical knowledge.

Along with rapid economic developments in Western Europe and the United States brought by the Industrial Revolution, new scientific discoveries in the field of medicine also emerged in the 18th century. Prevention, causes and cures for certain diseases made significant progress compared to previous eras. The growth of industries created urban sprawl and high risk of infectious diseases. By the 20th century, major breakthroughs like germ theory controlled notorious plagues.

This self-guided course is designed for you to work through on your own using the resources and suggested learning activities provided.

Over the four lessons in the course, you'll learn about the medicine in the Ancient Times, Medieval medicine, Renaissance medicine & modern developments in medicine.

Part 1: Medicine in the Ancient Times

In this lesson, we'll define key terms, be familiar with ancient medical beliefs and practices, analyse the features of medicine in varied ancient civilisations & assess the influence of religion and mythology in early medical practices.

Part 1 Quiz: Medicine in the Ancient Times

Take this quiz to make sure you understand the medicine in the Ancient Times.

Part 2: Medieval Medicine, 400 BC to 14th century

In this lesson, we'll define key terms, Understand the main features of medicine and diseases during the Medieval Period, analyse the role of the Catholic Church to the course of medicine & assess the nature and impacts of the Black Death to Europe.

Part 2 Quiz: Medieval Medicine, 400 BC to 14th century

Take this quiz to make sure you understand the medieval medicine, 400 BC to 14th century.

Part 3: Renaissance Medicine, 14th to 17th century

In this lesson, we'll define key terms, trace some of the events which led to the Renaissance period, understand key features of medicine during this period, assess the contributions of Vesalius, Harvey and Paré in the field of medicine & evaluate the medical changes brought by the Renaissance.

Part 3 Quiz: Renaissance Medicine, 14th to 17th century

Take this quiz to make sure you understand the Renaissance Medicine, 14th to 17th century.

Part 4: Modern Developments in Medicine, 18th to 21st century

In this lesson, we'll define key terms, trace the development in medicine from the Industrial Revolution until the 21st century, understand the nature and significance of the germ theory and other innovations in studying diseases, analyse how epidemics and pandemics changed the course of medicine & assess how the world addresses 21st-century pandemics.

Part 4 Quiz: Modern Developments in Medicine, 18th to 21st century

Take this quiz to make sure you understand the modern developments in medicine.

History of Medicine Course Assessment

Take this quiz to make sure you understand the History of Medicine.