Pre-Industrial Period


Western Medicine can be traced as early as 300 B.C. during the time of the Greeks. They have used various methods of treating diseases back then. Although religious beliefs and superstition are also practiced, the most accepted method of the practice of medicine is through the use of ethical, rational and intellectual means.

They believed that the human body was composed of four different substances namely: Blood, Black Bile, Yellow Bile and Phlegm. It was said that you are a healthy person if all four are balanced. Following their logic, you can be healed if all four are brought back to balance. Different methods are used such as letting blood out, moving to a colder location and such.

During this period, the tools that we use are not present. Everything was done manually. To measure fever, one has to touch and feel a person. Human excretion is studied by using the 5 senses. There are no metrics used to define a certain value observed on a patient. They only say that “it’s very hot” or “it’s very cold”. Animals like leeches are also used for medical procedures.

Diseases are also different in this period. The most prominent would be fevers, eye diseases and nutritional disorders. There were also different plagues in different regions. Most are due too poor food keeping, lack of food and hygiene issues.

Ancient Greek Documentation


Hippocrates (460-377 B.C) and Galen (131-201 A.D) were first physicians to document their patient’s process of healing to improve patient care. This completely changed how we viewed diseases. They were no longer some mysterious force that took so many lives. One could learn from how patients heal to improve treatment of the next patients. In other words, medical practice in ancient time was about gathering information and processing information.