How Effective Were Healers in the Medieval Period

Topics: Medicine, Surgery, Physician Pages: 3 (957 words) Published: March 4, 2012
How effective were Healers in the Medieval Period?
In the medieval period there were 4 main healers you could visit. These healers did not specialise in individual parts of the body, and so people visited each healer depending on their wealth. The church had a lot of control over the medical care, and so knowledge could not be developed further. The ideas of Galen and the Theory of opposites, was approved as it was relating to the Church, by talking about the soul. This idea had been used for many years, as people were punished for not using this. The four main healers in the medieval society were ; a physician, a apothecary , a barber-surgeon and a local wise women/ housewife physicians. Although people thought that because the physicians was the most expensive he was the best person to visit this is not strictly true. Physicians are the only healers that have medical qualifications. For several years men would study, and at the end of their 5-7 years of training they would take an exam. During the years of the course they would study, the theory of opposites, and Galen’s ideas. They would learn massive books of by heart, but had barely any hands on experience. Once qualified, a physicians would still not have much hand on experience. They would diagnose urine samples using colour charts, use treatments based on Galen theories like blood-letting. They may also consult astrology to determine how to treat a certain disease. Physicians were often expensive, normal people could not afford this treatment. Every appointment would have a and extra charge, even though most if the time they would refer you to an apothecary, to make medicine or a barber-surgeon for bloodletting. Although they were the most respected, I don’t believe that they were the most effective. Physicians have all the knowledge, but they could not apply this knowledge to the body. In lectures the would sit and talk while pointing to parts of the body, and surgeons would get parts out and...
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