| The poetry of reality|
|We must know. |
We will know.
|A view from the|
shoulders of giants.
Medicine is a broad term that covers the scientific fields of human and animal health and the study and treatment of diseases. The word is also used to refer to the drugs used to treat a disease or ailment.
Origins of medicine
The medical knowledge that we have today is the result of thousands of years of study of the way humans and animals work; study that was often opposed by those in charge, meaning the religious authorities for most of recent human history. Many people over the years went against established religious laws and taboos to take the mystery out of the causes of disease and physical ailments.
The removal of this mystery was seldom welcomed by the religions of the time, yet few religious people today would forego medical treatment, in spite of, in most cases, a professed belief that it is faith that heals, not the medicine or treatment. Medicine is a key application of the knowledge gained from all of chemistry and biology.
Alternative medicine is any medicine that lies outside of normal medicine: herbs, complementary therapies, complete and utter crankery and woo and wishful thinking. For the most part, alternative medicine has no greater effect than a placebo or making people feel better because they've done something rebellious and alternative. You know what they call "alternative medicine" that's proven to work? "Medicine."
Veterinary medicine is a branch of medicine that focuses on animals. Veterinary medical training is more difficult than human medicine given the great diversity of patients. Like human medicine, veterinary medicine has people who peddle woo and quackery. Veterinary medicine is divided into branches — general veterinary medicine, small animal care, veterinary dentistry, veterinary surgery and animal pathology. However, there is also a "veterinary chiropractor" branch that practices chiropractic medicine on animals. Like chiropractic treatments on humans, there are very similar dangers. A person who practices veterinary medicine is called a DVM or Doctor of Veterinary Medicine.