Medicine is the science and art of healing. It encompasses a range of health care practices evolved to maintain and restore health by the prevention and treatment of illness. Before scientific medicine, healing arts were practised in accordance with alchemical treatments and ritual practices that developed out of religious and cultural traditions. The term "Western medicine" was until recently used to refer to scientific and science-based practices to distinguish it from "Eastern medicine" — which are typically based in traditional, anecdotal, or otherwise non-scientific practices.
Contemporary medicine applies health science, biomedical research, and medical technology to diagnose and treat injury and disease, typically through medication, surgery, or some other form of therapy. The word medicine is derived from the Latin ars medicina, meaning the art of healing.[1][2]
Though medical technology and clinical expertise are pivotal to contemporary medicine, successful face-to-face relief of actual suffering continues to require the application of ordinary human feeling and compassion, known in English as bedside manner.[3]