Nursery Rhymes

Middle Ages Doctors

Middle Ages - Lords and Ladies

Middle Ages Doctors
Medicine was basic and Middle Ages doctors had limited knowledge. Medieval doctors had no idea what caused the terrible illnesses and diseases which plagued the Middle Ages. The Middle Ages was devastated by the Black Death in England (1348-1350) which killed nearly one third of the population of England. The Middle Ages doctors were helpless.

The underlying cause of many of the illnesses was due to the lack of sanitation. but Middle Ages doctors did not make this link until after the outbreak of the Black Death. The Middle Ages doctors had no idea what caused the Black Death - the best they could offer was to bled the patient or administer a concoction of herbs. There were no Antibiotics during the Middle Ages and it was almost impossible to cure illness and diseases without them. 

Medicine in the Middle Ages
Health in the Middle Ages
Middle Ages Hygiene

Middle Ages Doctors - How did Doctors of the Middle Ages tend to their Patients?
How did Doctors of the Middle Ages tend to their Patients? The beliefs about the causes of illnesses were based on the ancient teachings of Aristotle and Hippocrates. The Middle Ages doctors paid attention to a patients bodily fluids, which were called Humours, or body fluids. The body of the patient was viewed as a part of the universe. There were four  humours which directly related to the four elements and in turn the human body. Physicians diagnosed their patients by close examination of their blood, urine and stools, and determined their complexion or balance of humours. Middle Ages doctors related the Humors to the condition or illness of the patient and treated them accordingly.

What types of doctors were there in the Middle Ages?
What types of doctors were there in the Middle Ages? To qualify as a Doctor of Medicine took ten years  so the numbers of such fully qualified physicians remained comparatively small during the Middle Ages and there were not enough qualified doctors to treat the numbers of people. Medicine was administered by different people during the Middle Ages. The type of doctor depended on the class and whether money was available to pay the fee.

  • Middle Ages Physicians
    Only the very wealthy would receive the ministrations of a Middle Ages Physician who would have received an education at one of the Universities

  • Middle Ages Surgeons
    Inferior to Physicians these had a similar reputation to the barbers with whom they associated and belonged to the Company of Barber Surgeons

  • Middle Ages Barbers
    The Barbers were inferior to the Surgeons, although they also belonged to the Company of Barber Surgeons. They were only allowed to pull teeth or let blood

  • Middle Ages Apothocary
    The usual route that most people took was to visit the apothecary, or dispenser of drugs. The Apothocaries belonged to the Grocer's Guild and sold sweets, cosmetics and perfumes as well as drugs

  • Middle Ages 'Wise Woman'
    The local 'wise woman' was often the first person contacted by poor people who used various herbs to produce home made medicines and potions

The church played an important role in the lives of Medieval men and women. It was assumed that diseases of the body resulted from sins of the soul. Many people did not bother with Middle Ages doctors instead they sought relief from their ailments through meditation, prayer and pilgrimages.

Life in the Middle Ages
Middle Ages Index

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