Origins and Orientations of Medicine and Health: A Socio-historical Overview

  • Vijay Kumar Yadavendu


This chapter has analysed the historical progression of medicine and health approaches through the ancient, medieval and modern times. From a mythological to religious to rational to holistic and finally to mechanistic medicine, the journey has been towards more and more individualistic and reductionist paradigms. With the development of mechanistic sciences, medicine too became imbued with the spirit of mechanicalism and reductionism. The Industrial Revolution in the beginning of the nineteenth century marked a paradigm shift in medical practice with the emergence of ‘hospital medicine’. Mass urbanisation and the unhealthy squalor of workers’ habitats gave rise to the need for an organised health service system in the form of hospitals where objective treatment was meted out to the patients, irrespective of who they were or where they came from. The emphasis was on the development of more and more sophisticated tools of anatomy and pathology.


Industrial Revolution World View Modern Medicine Hospital Medicine Methodological Individualism 


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© Springer India 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vijay Kumar Yadavendu
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyMagadh UniversityBodh GayaIndia

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