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September 2013

Hippocrates on Ulcers

Author Affiliations
  • 1Dermatology Centre, Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust, Manchester, England
  • 2Department of History of Art, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, England
  • 3Centre for Global Health, King’s Health Partners, Denmark Hill, London, England
JAMA Dermatol. 2013;149(9):1049. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2013.4779

The father of medicine, Hippocrates, is arguably the most renowned and enduring of all physicians. He constructed the eponymous oath on which all physicians swear allegiance. Residing in the Greek island of Kos from 460 bc to 370 bc, Hippocrates was a gifted orator and philosopher. In the later years of his career, he devoted time to establishing a practice of medicine that sought to describe diseases in a natural, scientific way, in contrast to the sorcery and superstition that dominated Greek medicine at that time. In the fourth century bc, the Corpus Hippocraticum1 was compiled by his followers and comprises a heterogeneous collection of essays relating to various bodily systems.