Medicine is the science and practice of the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease. Medicine encompasses a variety of health care practices evolved to maintain and restore health by the prevention and treatment of illness. Contemporary medicine applies biomedical sciences, biomedical research, genetics, and medical technology to diagnose, treat, and prevent injury and disease, typically through pharmaceuticals or surgery, but also through therapies as diverse as psychotherapy, external splints and traction, medical devices, biologics, and ionizing radiation, amongst others.
Learn'd he was in medic'nal lore,
For by his side a pouch he wore,
Replete with strange hermetic powder
That wounds nine miles point-blank would solder.
Samuel Butler, Hudibras, Part I (1663-64), Canto II, line 223.
The ignorance and general incompetency of the average graduate of the American medical Schools, at the time when he receives the degree which turns him loose upon the community, is something horrible to contemplate.
Charles Eliot, President of Harvard University (1869). In response to this call for reform, Harvard Professor of Surgery Harold Bigelow replied "He actually proposes to have written examinations for the degree of doctor of medicine. I had to tell him that he knew nothing about the quality of Harvard medical students. More than half of them can barely write. Of course they can't pass written examinations...No medical school has thought it proper to risk large existing classes and larger receipts by introducing more rigorous standards".