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Medical: Health and Disability Information

Disabled World: Revised/Updated: 2019/04/12

Synopsis: The Disabled World medical category covers drugs and medical news including recent health and medical research information. The word medicine is derived from Latin "ars medicina", meaning art of healing. The 3 types of biomedical literature include the tertiary, secondary, and primary literature resources.

Main Document

Medicine is defined as the science or practice of the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease. The word medicine is derived from the Latin ars medicina, meaning the art of healing. Medicine encompasses a variety of health care practices evolved to maintain and restore health by the prevention and treatment of illness.

Early records on medicine have been discovered from early Ayurvedic medicine in the Indian subcontinent, ancient Egyptian medicine, traditional Chinese medicine, the Americas, and ancient Greek medicine. Early Grecian doctors Hippocrates, who is also called the Father of Modern Medicine, and Galen laid a foundation for later developments in a rational approach to medicine.

The modern scientific biomedical research (where results are testable and reproducible) began to replace early Western traditions of medicine, based on herbalism, the Greek "four humors" and other pre-modern theories. As science and technology developed, medicine became more reliant upon medications. Pharmacology developed from herbalism and many drugs are still derived from plants (atropine, ephedrine, warfarin, aspirin, digoxin, vinca alkaloids, taxol, hyoscine, etc).

The practice of modern medicine combines both science as the evidence base and art in the application of this medical knowledge in combination with intuition and clinical judgment to determine the treatment plan for each individual patient.

Contemporary medicine applies health science, biomedical research, and medical technology to diagnose and treat injury and disease, typically through medication, surgery, or some other form of therapy.

Medical Care Classification

Fig 1. Medical depiction of a female body showing internal organs.
Fig 1. Medical depiction of a female body showing internal organs.

Provision of medical care is classified into 3 main categories:

  • Primary care medical services:

    Primary care is classified as the day-to-day healthcare given by a health care provider. Typically this provider acts as the first contact and principal point of continuing care for patients within a healthcare system, and coordinates other specialist care that the patient may need. Primary care is generally provided by physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, or other health professionals who have first contact with a patient seeking medical treatment or care. These occur in physician offices, clinics, nursing homes, schools, home visits, and other places close to patients.

  • Secondary care medical services:

    Provided by medical specialists in their offices or clinics or at local community hospitals for a patient referred by a primary care provider who first diagnosed or treated the patient. Referrals are made for those patients who required the expertise or procedures performed by specialists. Secondary care includes acute care: necessary treatment for a short period of time for a brief but serious illness, injury, or other health condition. This care is often found in a hospital emergency department. Secondary care also includes skilled attendance during childbirth, intensive care, and medical imaging services.

  • Tertiary care medical services:

    Provided by specialist hospitals or regional centers equipped with diagnostic and treatment facilities not generally available at local hospitals. Tertiary care is a specialised consultative health care for inpatients. The patients are admitted into these centres on a referral from primary or secondary health professionals. Tertiary health care is provided in a facility that have personnel and facilities for advanced medical investigation and treatment. Services provided include cancer management, neurosurgery, cardiac surgery and a host of complex medical and surgical interventions. These may include trauma centers, burn treatment centers, advanced neonatology unit services, organ transplants, high-risk pregnancy, radiation oncology, etc.

Biomedical Literature Sources

Fig 2. Medical depiction of a male body showing internal organs.
Fig 2. Medical depiction of a male body showing internal organs.

The three types of biomedical literature include the tertiary, secondary, and primary literature resources. Sources are classified depending on both the originality of the information presented and their proximity or how close they are to the source of information.

  • Primary Source in Medicine:

    The authors directly participated in the research or documented their personal experiences. They examined patients, injected rats, ran experiments, or supervised those who did. Many, but not all, papers published in medical journals are primary sources for facts about the research and discoveries made.

  • Secondary Source in Medicine:

    Summarizes one or more primary or secondary sources, usually to provide an overview of current understanding of the topic, to make recommendations, or to combine results of several studies, such as literature or systematic reviews found in medical journals, specialist academic or professional books, and medical guidelines or position statements published by major health organizations.

  • Tertiary Source in Medicine:

    A tertiary source usually summarizes a range of secondary sources. Undergraduate or graduate level textbooks, edited scientific books, lay scientific books, and encyclopedias are examples of tertiary sources.

Regular Medical Checkups are Very Important



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