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The Future of Medicine

By Sowmiya T | Tuesday, July 26, 2022

The Future of Medicine

Sowmiya T

Medicine is no longer the coursework doctors study or the pill you take to get rid of that annoying headache. Medicine is much more than that. Medicine is about autonomy - your body and your choices. Medicine is about equality - everyone deserves the right to health. Medicine is about self-discovery too - it is beneficial to know yourself well, even physically.

It is time for you to take a step towards understanding medicine in depth. Future of Medicine aims to educate students about important medical concepts. In this series, you will learn the basics in topics like anatomy and cardiology, developments in the field of medicine, as well as what a career options might look like beyond work. This is not an exhaustive list of topics so keep your eyes and mind open to a wide variety of interesting information. Medicine, after all, is a mesmerizing discipline that addresses the beautiful yet fragile complexities of human life. Complexities tend to not have an end, do they?

Before we dive into the mission of this series, we must first understand exactly what medicine is — According to the Little Oxford English Dictionary, medicine is defined as:

  1. The science or practice of the treatment and prevention of disease
  2. A substance taken by mouth in order to treat or prevent disease

While it is important to understand these definitions, we must also realize that medicine means more. It is a field of passion where the human body and humanity merge. It involves meeting a patient’s needs, especially since we are heading towards a future that prioritizes personalized healthcare. Medicine is about ethics and morals - and knowing that it is often met with difficulty. Medicine is about acknowledging the mortal realities of chaos (it really is not as neat as the anatomical diagrams you see in textbooks) and death, everything in the universe runs on disorder and someday, it may come to an end too. Medicine is also about welcoming positivity and success by means of recovery (we all know nothing is better than having a clear nose after a cold). Beyond its basic definitions, medicine is a word that increases in depth the more you learn about it from different perspectives.

Medicine is not trafficking vulnerable people for their organs and neither is it profiting from basic services that should be made as freely available as possible. It has no room for privilege, heartlessness, or other evils of mankind in its truest form. It is important to understand that we live in a time where terrible medical catastrophes make headlines.

Now that we know what medicine means, let us take a quick journey back in time to the Neolithic period around 10,000 years ago. Skulls dating back to this era display holes drilled in them, characterized by the smooth edges surrounding them and evidence of healing. They suggest the possibility of trepanning (the process of drilling these holes in the head) as a treatment for headaches, convulsions, and insanity, which was then seen as “spirit possession.”

This is an example of ancient medicine and reveals to us that treating others has almost always been an integral part of the human experience. We have come a long way since then and have developed much safer procedures, established forms of treatment, and most importantly, a more solid understanding of the human body in general. Future of Medicine aims to help you use your current knowledge and research findings to critically think about what medicine might look like, in say 10 years’ time, for example. So, stay tuned for more Future of Medicine updates in the next few months!

Before this article ends, here are some fun facts about the human body for you to enjoy after a long read:

  • We blink our eyes about 20,000 times a day
  • Our eyes are always the same size from birth, but our nose and ears never stop growing
  • One uses 14 muscles to smile and 43 to frown - so you should smile more!

Until next time, medi-pals!

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