Marble statue of Asclephius on a pedestal, symbol of medicine in Western medicine

Medicine is the science and practice of establishing the diagnosis, prognosis, 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.

Medicine has been around for thousands of years, during most of which it was an art (an area of skill and knowledge) frequently having connections to the religious and philosophical beliefs of local culture. For example, a medicine man would apply herbs and say prayers for healing, or an ancient philosopher and physician would apply bloodletting according to the theories of humorism. In recent centuries, since the advent of modern science, most medicine has become a combination of art and science (both basic and applied, under the umbrella of medical science). While stitching technique for sutures is an art learned through practice, the knowledge of what happens at the cellular and molecular level in the tissues being stitched arises through science.

Prescientific forms of medicine are now known as traditional medicine and folk medicine. They remain commonly used with or instead of scientific medicine and are thus called alternative medicine. For example, evidence on the effectiveness of acupuncture is "variable and inconsistent" for any condition, but is generally safe when done by an appropriately trained practitioner. In contrast, treatments outside the bounds of safety and efficacy are termed quackery. Read more...

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Hormones in menstrual cycle.png

The menstrual cycle is a recurring cycle of physiological changes in the females of some animal species that is associated with reproductive fertility. Only human beings and the great apes experience a true menstrual cycle. Most placental mammals experience estrus instead. The menstrual cycle is under the control of the reproductive hormone system and is necessary for reproduction. In women, menstrual cycles occur typically on a monthly basis between puberty and menopause.

During the menstrual cycle, the sexually mature female body builds up the lining of the uterus with gradually increasing amounts of estrogen, and when this hormone reaches a critical level, estradiol is produced, and shortly thereafterward there is the stimulation of the ovaries with Follicle Stimulating Hormone, and luteinizing hormone. Follicles begin developing, and within a few days one "matures" into an ovum or egg. The ovary then releases this egg, (or occasionally two, which might result in dizygotic, or non-identical, twins) at the time of ovulation. The lining of the uterus, the endometrium, peaks shortly there afterward in a synchronised fashion. After ovulation, this lining changes to prepare for potential conception and implantation of the fertilized egg to establish a pregnancy. The hormone progesterone rises after ovulation, and peaks shortly thereafter. (More...)

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Tubal Pregnancy with embryo.jpg
Human Embryo (7th week of pregnancy, 5th weeks p.o.).

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/euthman/304334264

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