medicine (med'i-sin) [L. (ars) medicina, healing (art)]
1. A drug or remedy.
2. The act of maintenance of health, and prevention and treatment of disease and illness.
3. Treatment of disease by medical, as distinguished from surgical, treatment.
The branch of medicine concerned with the selection of individuals for duty as pilots or crew members for flight and space missions. Includes study of the pathology and physiology of persons and animals who travel in airplanes and spacecraft in the earth's atmosphere and in outer space. Synonym: aviation medicine
alternative medicineComplementary and alternative medicine.
A holistic approach to health care widely employed in Europe, e.g., for the care of patients with advanced cancer. Although its effectiveness remains unproven, it has gained significant acceptance by patients and some insurers.
The study and practice of medical problems of performing artists, including musicians, vocalists, and dancers.
aviation medicineAerospace medicine.
A branch of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) that relies on the detection, measurement, and adjustment of electromagnetic energy within the body. See: bioenergetics
A discipline within the field of complementary and alternative medicine that studies subtle energy fields in and around the body for therapeutic purposes.
Medical care of patients with anemia that avoids the use of transfusion therapy except for autologous transfusions.
boutique medicineConcierge medicine.
Observation and treatment at the bedside; the practice of medicine in the clinical setting as distinguished from laboratory science.
Medical care to provide preventive and clinical services to anyone in need, rather than only to those who are insured or are able to pay for such services.
The study of health, illness, and the effects of treatment on mammals, e.g., primates or rodents, or on nonmammalian organisms, e.g., bacteria, fish, flies, yeasts.
complementary and alternative medicine Abbreviation: CAM
Any of the therapies designed and promoted to improve health and well-being that are usually considered to be outside the scope of Western, allopathic, medical practice. The National Institute Health's National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine for research and scholarly purposes has defined five broad categories of CAM: 1) Biological therapies, e.g., herbs, dietary supplements, special nutritional programs; 2) Mind-Body therapies, e.g., relaxation therapies, meditation, biofeedback, hypnosis; 3) Manual therapies, e.g., massage therapy, chiropractic, and other body-based manipulative therapies like Rolfing; 4) Bioenergetic therapies, e.g., magnets, healing touch, therapeutic touch, qi gong; 5) Alternative systems of care., e.g., ayurveda, traditional Chinese medicine, naturopathy, homeopathy. Synonym: alternative medicine
See: integrative medicine
Medical practice in which a patient pays a physician in advance for unique, around-the-clock access to his or her professional services, without an intermediary such as an insurance company. Synonym: boutique medicine; retainer medicine
The use of algorithms (in place of individualized care) in medicine; the reliance by practitioners on protocol and rules rather than on a comprehensive, individual approach to the medical needs of a patient.
Health care provided to inmates of prisons and jails.
critical care medicine Abbreviation: CCM
The care of the sickest patients (those with acutely life-threatening illnesses such as major trauma, myocardial infarction, respiratory failure, sepsis, severe hemorrhage, or shock).
Any health care practice used primarily to fend off malpractice litigation or to reduce a perceived risk of liability, rather than to advance patient care. It may include: ordering excessive blood tests or radiological studies; requesting unneeded consultations; or declining to participate in certain forms of care. In some cases, defensive medicine results in the early retirement of the practitioner. It is most commonly used by health care providers in specialties known to be at high-risk for litigation: emergency physicians; general surgeons; neurosurgeons; obstetricians; and orthopedic surgeons.
The branch of medicine concerned with the preservation and treatment of the teeth and other orofacial tissues. It includes preventive measures such as oral hygiene, as well as restorative procedures or prostheses and surgery. The results are widespread, including better nutrition and digestion from restored and balanced occlusion, and improved mental health from the control of oral and dental infections that often are overlooked but jeopardize the success of other medical treatments.
Large-scale application of emergency medical services in a community, following a natural or man-made catastrophe. The aim is to save lives and restore every survivor to maximum health as promptly as possible. Its success depends on prompt sorting of patients according to their immediate needs and prognosis. See: triage
The study, diagnosis, and treatment of diseases and injuries that occur underwater, esp. in SCUBA diving, submarines, or diving chambers, where the body is exposed to unusually high pressures. Synonym: undersea medicine
The branch of medicine specializing in emergency care of the acutely ill and injured. Board-certified physicians who successfully complete a residency and qualifying examination and who meet other requirements of the American College of Emergency Physicians may use the abbreviation FACEP (Fellow of the American College of Emergency Physicians). See: nurse, certified emergency; Emergency Nurses Association; FACEP
The branch of medicine concerned with the effects of the environment (temperature, rainfall, population size, pollution, radiation) on humans.
A medicine used to meet the fundamental health care needs of a population.
evidence-based medicineEvidence-based health care.
The scientific study of disease or pathological conditions through experimentation on laboratory animals or through clinical research.
The branch of medicine concerned with providing or supervising the medical care of all members of the family.
The use of home remedies and informal healing practices to treat disease.
Medicine in relation to the law, e.g., in autopsy proceedings, the determination of time or cause of death, or in the determination of sanity. It also includes the legal aspects of medical ethics and standards. Synonym: legal medicine
Any field within complementary and alternative medicine that lacks basic scientific credibility. According to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, reiki and therapeutic touch are examples of frontier medicine.
front-line medicineTactical medicine.
Health care that pertains only to men or to women but not to individuals of both genders, e.g., those affected with diseases and conditions produced by sex hormones.
genomic medicinePersonalized medicine.
1. Practice of medicine by a group of physicians, usually consisting of specialists in various fields who pool their services and share laboratory and x-ray facilities. Such a group is commonly called a clinic.
2. Securing of medical services by a group of individuals who, on paying definite sums of money, are entitled to certain medical services or hospitalization in accordance with prearranged rules and regulations.
Engineered advances in medical knowledge and technique that have resulted in improved diagnostic, therapeutic, and rehabilitative procedures.
A patient-centered approach to healing that strives to meet the cognitive, emotional, physical, social, and spiritual needs of patients. Synonym: wholistic health See: holism
industrial medicineOccupational and environmental medicine.
The branch of medicine that uses evidenced-based approaches to combine conventional medical practices with therapies from complementary and alternative medicine. See: complementary and alternative medicine
internal medicine Abbreviation: IM
The branch of medicine concerned with the overall health and well-being of adults. The internist uses the tools of history taking, physical examination, and diagnostic testing to diagnose and prevent disease. Patient education, lifestyle modification, psychological counseling, use of medications, inpatient medical care, and referral to other specialists are responsibilities of the internist.
legal medicineForensic medicine.
The study of lifestyle choices in preventing and/or managing chronic disease and optimizing wellness.
An approach to medicine that recognizes the effect of thought, feeling, and belief on health, as well as the impact of health and illness on attitude and thought. Common therapies used in this field are biofeedback, hypnosis, imagery, meditation, psychoeducation, and relaxation therapies. Synonym: psychosomatic medicine
Native American medicine
Traditional, culturally specific beliefs and practices of Native Americans regarding health that emphasize awareness of self and spirit, rest, connection with nature, herbal medicine, social support, and ceremonial or ritualistic healing.
The philosophy and practice of healing that relies primarily on the use of nutrition, herbal remedies, homeopathy, massage, and counseling to promote wellness and healthy life-styles. Other modalities include disciplines as aromatherapy, color therapy, traditional Chinese medicine, and iridology.
The underlying principle of naturopathy is that the power of nature is the ultimate healer. Seminal figures in the founding of naturopathic medicine include Benedict Lust and Sebastian Kneipp. There are several naturopathic medical schools in the U.S. leading to an ND (Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine) degree. Fourteen states in the U.S. currently license naturopathic practice.
Any health care practice that relies on manipulation or adjustment of bones, ligaments, muscles, and tendons.
The branch of medicine involved with the use of radioactive substances for diagnosis, therapy, and research.
occupational and environmental medicine Abbreviation: OEM
The branch of medicine concerned with work-related diseases, hazards, and injuries; working conditions; employee rehabilitation; and the regulations that pertain to these issues. Synonym: industrial medicine
A drug or medical preparation protected by patent and sold without a physician's prescription. The law requires that it be labeled with names of active ingredients, the quantity or proportion of the contents, and directions for its use, and that it not have misleading statements as to curative effects on the label. See: nonproprietary name; prescription
The study of an individual's unique biochemical and genetic makeup, in order to determine his susceptibility to disease or potential responses to treatment. Synonym: genomic medicine, theranostics
A branch of medicine that uses natural methods, including physical agents, therapeutic exercise, mechanical apparatus, and pharmaceutical agents. Synonym: physiatrics; physiatry
1. Preventive medicine.
2. Medical education that takes place in classes, laboratories, and symposia, preceding the training that occurs through the direct care of patients.
The anticipation and thwarting of disease or injury in individuals and populations. Synonym: preclinical medicine (1) See: prevention
psychosomatic medicineMind-body medicine.
The use of stem cells to treat diseases caused by the loss or degeneration of cells in vital organs such as the brain, heart, or kidneys. Synonym: reparative medicine (1)
1. Regenerative medicine.
2. Medicine concerned primarily with repair, such as microsurgery for limb reattachment.
retainer medicineConcierge medicine.
A health care delivery system in which the provision of services is controlled by the government.
The branch of medicine concerned with the physiological and pathological problems encountered by humans who enter the area beyond the earth's atmosphere. It includes investigation of effects of zero gravity (weightlessness), sensory deprivation, motion sickness, enforced inactivity during lengthy travels in space, and the heat and decelerative forces encountered at the time of reentry into the earth's atmosphere. With prolonged flights into space, a number of medical problems have arisen, including anemia, loss of blood volume, loss of bone, and loss of muscle mass. These changes also make adjustment to gravity after returning to earth difficult.
The branch of medicine concerned with the physiology, psychology, and pathology of athletes. Important aspects of sports medicine are the prevention of injuries, and their diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation.
Emergency medical care that is provided during battlefield, terrorist, or police operations. Synonym: front-line medicine See: tactical emergency medical support
The traditional health care practices of Tibet, based primarily on the use of meditation, herbals, chanting, and other healing rituals.
traditional Chinese medicine Abbreviation: TCM
Medical practice as it developed in early Chinese civilization and philosophy and widely used today by both Asians and non-Asians. It is an alternative system of medicine which uses acupuncture, diet, exercise therapies, e.g., tai chi and qi gong, herbal remedies, and massage. See: acupuncture
; tai chi
The branch of medicine that deals principally with diseases common in tropical or subtropical regions, esp. diseases of parasitic origin.
undersea medicineDiving medicine.
The branch of medical science that deals with diagnosis and treatment of diseases of animals.