Medicine: Boundaries

The delineation of what is medicine and what does not is a source of debate.

The major innovations introduced by Western medicine from the nineteenth century (anesthesia and asepsis then vaccination and antibiotics in the nineteenth century), its successes and its dissemination throughout the world particularly through the colonization by the West will prompt to ask, in the first half of the twentieth century, scientific medicine as a model of Western medicine globally unique [ref. necessary]. The establishment of an international conventional medicine explains the use of the term still used "unconventional medicine" to refer to other medicines.

This implies the rejection by institutions outside the definition of western medicine ancient medicine, including medicine medieval obscurantist treated and non-Western traditional medicine, including the most structured of all the Chinese medicine .

However, at the end of the twentieth century, some limitations of medicine "modern" (resistance to antibiotics as a result of misuse, side effects chemical, failure to face some viruses, etc..) Led to reconsider the place alternative medicine.

This reversal resulted in the development in the West, scaled the face of modern scientific medicine, alternative medicine, "soft", traditional or foreign, such as the homeopathy, the herbal medicine, the acupuncture, etc..

Similarly, but at the end of the twentieth century, including the effect of globalization, traditional medicines or non-Western, have recognized their place in the medical world in 2002, the World Health Organization has launched its first global strategy on traditional medicine

Some researchers even rehabilitate some of the aspects of medicine medieval West. Thus the historian of medicine Roger Dachez which highlights the preventive and holistic view of medicine had the Middle Ages

Result: success, failure and limits of medicine

Major success

The successes of medicine, particularly of Western medicine since the nineteenth century, is measured in particular by:
Lengthening the duration of life,
The reduction of infant mortality,
The eradication or the technical capacity to eradicate ancient epidemics (tuberculosis, plague, leprosy, etc.)..


Chess or boundaries, prospective

Medicine is not an exact science, and medical treatment can sometimes affect the human person in a negative way, eg via;
the "side effects or reactions to medications or treatments, which will require some (Distilbène for example) be supported by several generations
the nosocomial infections and the antibiotic resistance paradoxically partly generated by some medical advances
results of the awkwardness of medical errors, defects of organization, excessive drugs or poor treatment. A disorder or disease is known as iatrogenic when caused by a medical procedure or medication, even in the absence of error doctor, pharmacist or caregiver of any other person involved in care. In France, 4% of hospital admissions resulting from care, and 40% of these cases are preventable These include a portion of nosocomial infections which are the most common nosocomial infections.
Medicine sentence to explain and deal with problems such as the deletion of spermatogenesis and fertility decline or increase in certain cancers.


Many advances are announced or expected in the coming years, in terms of environmental health, epidemiology, elongation of life, if not the duration of healthy life.
The predictive medicine, cloning, stem cells raise new issues in bioethics.
Defects are anticipating that for example in France, in 2025, while the population has increased (and the more elderly population), the number of doctors has decreased by 10% medical and density of 15% for non replacing the baby boomer doctors induced quotas for access to medical studies in the seventies to ninety-ten. Liberal medicine should lose 17% of its workforce and the industry employed 8%, except in hospitals where the ministry is considering an increase of 4%, 13% of GPs have disappeared, as against 7% for specialists (ophthalmologists, ear, nose and throat and especially psychiatrists).
In addition to the feminization of the profession should lead to an increase in part-time and a lack of posts for emergencies, the guards, night work and medical fields to extended hours. The low density medical care will also increase the cost of care, the impact of movements in terms of pollution (and secondary care) and could reduce medical efficiency (less medical density increases mortality, especially as patients are poor


Medicine and Society

Medicine, an institution

The academy of medicine
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or "centers of control and prevention of diseases"
The hospitals
The bodies of medical research
Public bodies
The doctors orders
The European Medicines Agency (European Medicines Agency)
The National Institute of Graduate Studies in Medical Science Oran (Es-INESSMO sénia)

Professional medical and paramedical
Other medical professions.
Paramedical profession.

The Medical and Paramedical Studies
See article studies medicine in France
In Francophone countries: see the article: the medical school

Other medicines
Chinese Medicine
Traditional medicine
Unconventional medicine

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