WHO WAS GALEN?

galien

GALEN OF PERGAMUM
131-201 A.D.

Galen (Galien in French) is considered the father of modern medicine and pharmacology. As an anatomist, physiologist, clinician and researcher, his work formed the basis of a school of thought known as “Galenism”, which dominated medicine until the Renaissance. In fact, Galen’s works were used as primary medical reference for nearly two centuries.

During his long and eminent career, Galen completed over five hundred learned works addressing anatomy, physiology, pathology, medical theory and practice, and many forms of therapy. He traveled throughout the world, studying local plants and remedies, eventually describing 473 original drugs and many substances of mineral and vegetable origin. Importantly, Galen was the first to codify the art of preparing active drugs using multiple ingredients. Galen’s faculties of observation, logic and deduction made him the true successor of Hippocrates, and his declaration that the primary aim of medicine was patient care formed the very cornerstone of modern pharmacy. To quote Jean-Pierre Changeux, “Galen first showed that our mind was in the brain, not in our hearts.” It can be said that this was the beginning of experimental medicine.


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