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August 22, 1966

Hippocrates' Home

Author Affiliations

From the Department of the History of Medicine and Science, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada.

JAMA. 1966;197(8):628-631. doi:10.1001/jama.1966.03110080068022

If there is one thing which unites the several million physicians of the world, it is true veneration for Hippocrates. He is almost universally referred to as "the father of medicine," and yet we tend to regard him as wholly distant from us in time, in the primitive nature of his medical knowledge, and in geography. How wrong and absurd this is I was to discover in a visit to his home in Greece during September of 1965. From reading, before and after my visit, I am convinced that Hippocrates' clinical outlook is more "modern" than ours in some ways. I now know that his native island of Cos (or Kos) is but an hour from Athens by plane, that Athens is about an hour from Rome by jet, that Rome is but a few hours from America. I returned home convinced that Cos offers the world's best tourist bargain