A hospital is a place where sick and injured people go for medical and surgical treatment. Highly skilled health care professionals use the latest technology to make hospital visits as short and painless as possible. Medicine is a term used to describe the pills and syrups prescribed by doctors when people do not feel well. It also is the art and science of maintaining health, and includes the prevention and treatment of diseases and injuries. What we know about medicine today is the result of many discoveries made by men and women over thousands of years.
Before there were doctors and nurses, people tried to heal the sick. Evidence exists in prehistoric human skulls that were discovered with holes in them. Historians believe that medicine men cut holes into the heads of sick people to release evil spirits that they thought caused illnesses (Trephining). Imagine being awake during brain surgery performed with crudely made tools and nothing to numb the pain. Ouch! Use the timeline to learn about progressively less painful advancements in the history of medicine.