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The first great physician was Hippocrates, a Greek who lived almost 2,500 years ago. He developed theories about the practice of medicine and the anatomy of the human body, but Hippocrates is remembered today for a set of medical ethics that continues to influence medical practice. The oath that he administered to his disciples is still administered to physicians about to start practice. His 87 treatises on medicine, known as the Hippocratic Collection, are believed to be the first authoritative record of early medical theory and practice. Hippocratic physicians believed in the theory that health was maintained by a proper balance of four "humors" in the body: blood, phlegm, black bile, and yellow bile.

Since the time of ancient Greece, as you might imagine, there have been many advances in the medical field: the development of organized clinical instruction, vaccinations, sterilization procedures, and instruments such as the stethoscope, to name a few. In addition to these advances, the medical profession also saw the development of specialists, doctors who concentrate their work in specific areas such as surgery, psychiatry, internal medicine, or allergies and immunology.

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