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History

Egyptian doctors

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Egyptian society was a rich one, leaving room for an educated class to emerge. Out of this class came both priests and doctors, who developed the practice of medicine in their society with impressive results.

Summary

Egyptian doctors believed that the gods caused disease, but that they did so by disturbing the normal workings of the body. So, alongside their prayers and spiritual remedies, the doctors developed practical cures to put the body right.

They were the first people to develop empirical (based on facts and observation) methods to cure disease, rather than simply seeking spiritual explanations for it.

Egyptian 19th-Dynasty painting of the god Anubis bandaging Sennedjem during mummification

Egyptian 19th-Dynasty painting of the god Anubis bandaging Sennedjem during mummification

The image above is of the god Anubis bandaging Sennedjem during mummification.

This put the ideas of Egyptian doctors halfway between those of the witch-doctors of the Stone Age and those of the Greek philosophers. They made the break from superstition, and began the march towards modern medical care. The Egyptian god of healing, Imhotep, had been, in fact, a doctor.

The Egyptians were the first people to develop the profession of medicine.

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