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REVIEW ARTICLE
Year : 2016  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 101-108

Reflections on the Medical History of the Kidney: From Alcmaeon of Croton to Richard Bright - Standing on the Shoulders of Giants


Department of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, Western Michigan University, Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine, Kalamazoo, MI 49008-1284, USA

Correspondence Address:
Donald E Greydanus
Department of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, Western Michigan University, Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine, 1000 Oakland Drive, Kalamazoo, MI 49008-1284
USA
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/2394-2916.193496

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Although renal disease has been present for over 200 millennia of Homo sapiens' existence, knowledge of the causes and management of these disorders has only emerged during the last 4000 years. Brilliant insights into human disease probably emerged from time to time over the long period of human existence, but observations could only be advanced after writing began in 3200 BC. Humans could then make observations, record these thoughts, and have others in their present and future critique them leading to improvement in this information. This discussion selectively considers some of the medical giants who led the way to clinical nephrology of the 21st century. It reflects on who taught us basic principles of renal disease that led to our current knowledge. Attention is given to the ancient Egyptians, Ancient Greeks, Galen of Pergamon, the Byzantine Greeks of the 5th-9th centuries, the Arab/Persian Physicians of the 9th-12th centuries, Moses Maimonides of the 12th century, selective Renaissance Physicians, and the father of modern nephrology - Richard Bright MD. This reflection celebrates au courant renal sagacity by celebrating the past clinicians who led the way from their eras to ours.


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