Medicine


Medicine is the field of health and healing. It includes nurses, doctors, and various specialists. It covers diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease, medical research, and many other aspects of health.

Medicine aims to promote and maintain health and wellbeing.

Conventional modern medicine is sometimes called allopathic medicine. It involves the use of drugs or surgery, often supported by counselling and lifestyle measures.

Alternative and complementary types of medicine include acupuncture, homeopathy, herbal medicine, art therapy, traditional Chinese medicine, and many more.

Fields and career paths of Medicine

Clinical Practice

Biomedical research

Pharmacy

Clinical Practice

A clinician works with patients in a health setting.

A clinician is a health worker who works directly with patients in a hospital or other healthcare setting. Nurses, doctors, psychotherapists, and other specialists are all clinicians.

Not all medical specialists are clinicians. Researchers and laboratory workers are not clinicians because they do not work with patients.

The physician assesses the individual, with the aim of diagnosing, treating, and preventing disease using knowledge learned from training, research, experiences, and clinical judgment.

Biomedical research

This area of science seeks ways to prevent and treat diseases that lead to illness or death.

Biomedical scientists use biotechnology techniques to study biological processes and diseases. They aim to develop successful treatments and cures.

Biomedical research requires careful experimentation, development, and evaluation. It involves biologists, chemists, doctors, pharmacologists, and others.

Pharmacy

This field looks at drugs or medicines and how to use them.

Doctors and other health professionals use medications in the medical diagnosis, treatment, cure, and prevention of disease.

Surgery

Medical devices

Alternative and complementary medicine

Surgery

Surgical procedures are necessary for diagnosing and treating some types of disease, malformation, and injury. They use instrumental and manual means rather than medication.

A surgeon may carry out a surgical procedure to remove or replace diseased tissue or organs, or they may use surgery to remove tissue for biopsy. Sometimes, they remove unwanted tissue and then send it for diagnosis.

Medical devices

Health professionals use a wide range of instruments to diagnose and treat a disease or other condition, to prevent a worsening of symptoms, to replace a damaged part — such as a hip or a knee.

Medical devices range from test tubes to sophisticated scanning machines.

Alternative and complementary medicine

Ayurveda is an ancient healing art and a form of alternative medicine.

This includes any practice that aims to heal but is not part of conventional medicine. Techniques range widely. They include the use of herbs, manipulation of "channels" in the body, and relaxation.

Alternative and complementary do not have the same meaning:

Alternative medicine: People use a different option from the conventional one, such as using relaxation measures to improve headaches, rather than pain relief medication.

Complementary medicine: People add another treatment option to a main treatment. For example, they may use relaxation as well as pain relief medication for a headache.

Alternative and complementary therapies are often based on traditional knowledge, rather than scientific evidence or clinical trials.

Examples include homeopathy, acupuncture, ayurveda, naturopathic medicine, and traditional Chinese medicine.

Clinical research

Psychotherapy

Physical and occupational therapy

Clinical research

Researchers carry out investigations to find out which diseases are present, why they occur, what can treat or prevent them, what makes them more likely to happen, and many other aspects of health.

Clinical trials are one aspect of clinical research. They aim to find out if a therapy — often a drug — is safe and effective to use when treating a specific condition.

The most effective way to demonstrate the effectiveness of a drug or technique is to carry out a double-blind, random, long-term, large clinical human study.

In this type of study, researchers compare the effect of a therapy or drug with either a placebo, no treatment, or another therapy or drug.

Psychotherapy

Counselling, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), and other forms of "talking cure" can be helpful for people with conditions that affect their mental health, ranging from depression to stress to chronic pain.

Physical and occupational therapy

These treatments do not involve medication, although a person may use medication alongside them.

Physical therapy can help improve strength and flexibility in people who have a condition that affects their musculoskeletal system.

Occupational therapy can teach people new and better ways to do things physically. A person who has had a stroke, for example, may benefit from learning again how to walk, using techniques that perhaps they did not use before.

Other fields of medicine include pharmacology and pharmacy, nursing, speech therapy, medical practice management, and many more.

Fields and career paths of Medicine

Clinical Practice

Clinical Practice

A clinician works with patients in a health setting.

A clinician is a health worker who works directly with patients in a hospital or other healthcare setting. Nurses, doctors, psychotherapists, and other specialists are all clinicians.

Not all medical specialists are clinicians. Researchers and laboratory workers are not clinicians because they do not work with patients.

The physician assesses the individual, with the aim of diagnosing, treating, and preventing disease using knowledge learned from training, research, experiences, and clinical judgment.

Biomedical research

Biomedical research

This area of science seeks ways to prevent and treat diseases that lead to illness or death.

Biomedical scientists use biotechnology techniques to study biological processes and diseases. They aim to develop successful treatments and cures.

Biomedical research requires careful experimentation, development, and evaluation. It involves biologists, chemists, doctors, pharmacologists, and others.

Pharmacy

Pharmacy

This field looks at drugs or medicines and how to use them.

Doctors and other health professionals use medications in the medical diagnosis, treatment, cure, and prevention of disease.

Surgery

Surgery

Surgical procedures are necessary for diagnosing and treating some types of disease, malformation, and injury. They use instrumental and manual means rather than medication.

A surgeon may carry out a surgical procedure to remove or replace diseased tissue or organs, or they may use surgery to remove tissue for biopsy. Sometimes, they remove unwanted tissue and then send it for diagnosis.

Medical devices

Medical devices

Health professionals use a wide range of instruments to diagnose and treat a disease or other condition, to prevent a worsening of symptoms, to replace a damaged part — such as a hip or a knee.

Medical devices range from test tubes to sophisticated scanning machines.

Alternative and complementary medicine

Alternative and complementary medicine

Ayurveda is an ancient healing art and a form of alternative medicine.

This includes any practice that aims to heal but is not part of conventional medicine. Techniques range widely. They include the use of herbs, manipulation of "channels" in the body, and relaxation.

Alternative and complementary do not have the same meaning:

Alternative medicine: People use a different option from the conventional one, such as using relaxation measures to improve headaches, rather than pain relief medication.

Complementary medicine: People add another treatment option to a main treatment. For example, they may use relaxation as well as pain relief medication for a headache.

Alternative and complementary therapies are often based on traditional knowledge, rather than scientific evidence or clinical trials.

Examples include homeopathy, acupuncture, ayurveda, naturopathic medicine, and traditional Chinese medicine.

Clinical research

Clinical research

Researchers carry out investigations to find out which diseases are present, why they occur, what can treat or prevent them, what makes them more likely to happen, and many other aspects of health.

Clinical trials are one aspect of clinical research. They aim to find out if a therapy — often a drug — is safe and effective to use when treating a specific condition.

The most effective way to demonstrate the effectiveness of a drug or technique is to carry out a double-blind, random, long-term, large clinical human study.

In this type of study, researchers compare the effect of a therapy or drug with either a placebo, no treatment, or another therapy or drug.

Psychotherapy

Psychotherapy

Counselling, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), and other forms of "talking cure" can be helpful for people with conditions that affect their mental health, ranging from depression to stress to chronic pain.

Physical and occupational therapy

Physical and occupational therapy

These treatments do not involve medication, although a person may use medication alongside them.

Physical therapy can help improve strength and flexibility in people who have a condition that affects their musculoskeletal system.

Occupational therapy can teach people new and better ways to do things physically. A person who has had a stroke, for example, may benefit from learning again how to walk, using techniques that perhaps they did not use before.

Other fields of medicine include pharmacology and pharmacy, nursing, speech therapy, medical practice management, and many more.

Medical devices

Medical devices

Health professionals use a wide range of instruments to diagnose and treat a disease or other condition, to prevent a worsening of symptoms, to replace a damaged part — such as a hip or a knee.

Medical devices range from test tubes to sophisticated scanning machines.

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