Imhotep from Africa is the first doctor in history

Imhotep from Africa is the first doctor in history

Although Hippocrates is considered by many to be the father of Medicine, he is not really the first doctor in history (although his contribution is undeniable). That honor would fall to the Egyptian scholar Imhotep.

Imhotep means ‘he that comes in peace’. Born in 27th century BCE, Egypt, Imhotep was no only a physician but also an architect, astrologer, scribe, politician and priest.

Statue of Imhotep | Pic: Pinterest

He is a renowned scholar and contributed greatly to Egypt’s civilization. Apart from Amenhotep, he is the only other Egyptian to be deified.

Was Imhotep the father of medicine?

Although the step pyramid is considered his greatest achievement, he is also remembered for his medical treatises, where he considers that diseases and injuries are of natural origin rather than punishments sent by the gods or caused by spirits or curses.

Imhotep was practicing medicine and writing on the subject more than 2000 years before Hippocrates was born.

He is also believed to be the author of Edwin Smith’s Papyrus, an ancient Egyptian medical text, which contains almost 100 anatomical terms and describes 48 injuries and their treatment.

Thus, Egyptian medicine initiated by Imhotep was the first to analyze the disease from a rational point of view, renouncing mythological explanations.

Of the details of his life, very little has survived despite the fact that numerous statues of him have been found.

Some show him as an ordinary man who dresses in normal clothes. Others show him as a sage who is sitting in a chair with a papyrus scroll on his knees or under his arm.

Later, his statues show him with the beard, standing, and carrying the ankh and a scepter.

Credit: historicaleve

One thought on “Imhotep from Africa is the first doctor in history

  1. I set out today to find out how Africa got its name. Still not sure about the answer. I call myself African American because I was told to do so as a child. I stopped calling my self a nehro, another name given us by other than my own race. It seems that other people have been naming our race, deciding our religion, getting out race to replace ours with theirs, and deciding our fate for centuries. I must blame someone, so I lay the blame at the feet of white supremacist. I reckon there are no conquerors, only white supremacy which is responsible for confusion around the world, with the need to be in charge of all things!

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