Stuart, Edward G. Formerly, West Virginia School of Medicine, Morgantown, West Virginia.
Mottet, N. Karle University Hospital, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington.
Last reviewed:March 2018
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Any agent administered for the treatment of disease; also, the science and art of treating and healing disease. The term medicine has two general meanings. The first indicates any material, notably in the drug category, which is given to prevent, alleviate, beneficially alter, or stop a disease process. In the second and broader sense, medicine denotes the fields of science devoted to healing (see illustration). Many subdivisions exist, and further ramifications continue to appear. Surgery, pediatrics, psychiatry, and obstetrics are among the many clinical specialties that fall within medicine. Other subdivisions of medicine, with names that are largely self-explanatory, include veterinary, legal, sports, forensic, emergency, tropical, aerospace (aviation and space), and military medicine. Internal medicine is the specialization that deals with internal diseases of a nonsurgical nature. See also: Aerospace medicine; Critical care medicine; Disease; Emergency medicine; Epidemiology; Forensic medicine; Performing arts medicine; Sports medicine; Surgery
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