The Hidden Roots of Medicine

The Hidden Roots of Medicine - Post

medicine-logoAn old African proverb goes, “In order to know where you’re going, you must know where you’ve been.” When it comes to the history of medicine, that is no different. The New York Times recently helped shed some light on medical history in an article titled “Medicine’s Hidden Roots in an Ancient Manuscript.”

Mark Schrope of the New York Times writes, “The first time Grigory Kessel held the ancient manuscript, its animal-hide pages more than 1,000 years old, it seemed oddly familiar. A Syriac scholar at Philipps University in Marburg, Germany, Dr. Kessel was sitting in the library of the manuscript’s owner, a wealthy collector of rare scientific material in Baltimore. At that moment, Dr. Kessel realized that just three weeks earlier, in a library at Harvard University, he had seen a single orphaned page that was too similar to these pages to be coincidence. The manuscript he held contained a hidden translation of an ancient, influential medical text by Galen of Pergamon, a Greco-Roman physician and philosopher who died in 200 A.D. It was missing pages and Dr. Kessel was suddenly convinced one of them was in Boston. Dr. Kessel’s realization in February 2013 marked the beginning of a global hunt for the other lost leaves, a search that culminated in May with the digitization of the final rediscovered page in Paris. Scholars are just beginning to pore over the text, the oldest known copy of Galen’s ‘On the Mixtures and Powers of Simple Drugs.’ It may well provide new insights into medicine’s roots and into the spread of this new science across the ancient world. ‘On so many levels it’s important,’ said Peter Pormann, a Graeco-Arabic expert at the University of Manchester who now leads a study of the text.”

In 2015, we at Medicine Within Reach are making history here in San Francisco. We are a group of primary care physicians who have come together to form a concierge practice. Our team believes that a strong patient-doctor relationship is essential to good health. We offer personalized services that make this special bond easily attainable. It is our mission is to partner with our patients in an integrated approach by navigating through the complex medical system for you.

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If you think concierge medicine might be right for you, contact us for a consultation.


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