In medicine, etiology refers to the many factors coming together to cause an illness. It is normally the focus of epidemiological studies. The etiology of scurvy is a good example. With scurvy, sailors going to sea often lacked fresh vegetables. Without knowing the precise cause, Captain James Cook suspected scurvy was caused by the lack of vegetables in the diet. Based on his suspicion, he forced his crew to eat sauerkraut, a cabbage preparation, every day, but he had no idea, precisely, why it prevented scurvy. It was only about two centuries later - in 1926 that it was discovered that it was the lack of vitamin C in a sailor's diet that was the base cause of scurvy.
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Famous quotes containing the word medicine:
“I have noticed that doctors who fail in the practice of medicine have a tendency to seek one anothers company and aid in consultation. A doctor who cannot take out your appendix properly will recommend you to a doctor who will be unable to remove your tonsils with success.”
—Ernest Hemingway (18991961)
“For this invention of yours will produce forgetfulness in the minds of those who learn it, by causing them to neglect their memory, inasmuch as, from their confidence in writing, they will recollect by the external aid of foreign symbols, and not by the internal use of their own faculties. Your discovery, therefore, is a medicine not for memory, but for recollection,for recalling to, not for keeping in mind.”
—Plato (c. 427347 B.C.)
“Good medicine is bitter to the taste.”