(med′ĭ-sin )

[L. (ars) medicina, healing (art)]

1. A drug or remedy.
2. The active maintenance of health and the prevention and treatment of disease and illness.
3. Treatment of disease by pharmacological, as distinguished from surgical, treatment.

aerospace medicine

The branch of medicine concerned with the selection of individuals for duty as pilots or crew members for flight and space missions. It includes study of the pathology and physiology of humans and animals that travel in airplanes and spacecraft in the earth's atmosphere and in outer space.
SYN: SEE: aviation medicine
SEE: space medicine

alternative medicine

SEE: Complementary and alternative medicine.

anthroposophic 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.

arts medicine

The study and practice of medical problems of performing artists, including musicians, vocalists, and dancers.

aviation medicine

SEE: Aerospace medicine.

Ayurvedic medicine

SEE: Ayurveda.

bioelectronic medicine

SEE: Electroceutical.

bioenergetic medicine

A branch of complementary and alternative medicine that relies on the detection, measurement, and adjustment of electromagnetic energy within the body.
SEE: bioenergetics

biofield medicine

A discipline within the field of complementary and alternative medicine that studies subtle energy fields in and around the body for therapeutic purposes.

bloodless medicine

Medical care of patients with anemia that avoids the use of transfusion therapy except for autologous transfusions.

boutique medicine

SEE: Concierge medicine.

clinical medicine

Medical observation and treatment at the patient's bedside as distinguished from laboratory medicine.

community medicine

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.

comparative medicine

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

ABBR: 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.
SYN: SEE: alternative medicine
SEE: integrative medicine

concierge 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.
SYN: SEE: boutique medicine; SEE: concierge care; SEE: retainer medicine; SEE: retainer practice

cookbook medicine

The use of algorithms (in place of individualized care) in medicine. The practitioners rely on rules and protocol rather than on a comprehensive, individual approach to the patient's medical needs.

correctional medicine

Health care provided to inmates of prisons and jails.

critical care medicine

ABBR: 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).

cyber medicine

SEE: Telemedicine.

defensive medicine

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.

dental medicine

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.

desmoteric medicine

SEE: Desmotology.

disaster medicine

Large-scale application of emergency medical services in a community after 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

diving medicine

The study, diagnosis, and treatment of diseases and injuries that occur underwater, esp. in self-contained underwater breathing apparatus (SCUBA) diving, submarines, or diving chambers, where the body is exposed to unusually high pressures.
SYN: SEE: undersea medicine

electronic medicine

SEE: Telemedicine.

emergency 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: certified emergency nurse; SEE: Emergency Nurses Association; SEE: FACEP

environmental medicine

The branch of medicine concerned with the effects of the environment (temperature, rainfall, population size, pollution, radiation) on humans.

essential medicine

A medicine used to meet the fundamental health care needs of a population.

evidence-based medicine

ABBR: EBM Medicine based on firm data rather than anecdote, tradition, intuition, or belief.
SYN: SEE: evidence-based health care; SEE: evidence-based practice

experimental medicine

The scientific study of disease or pathological conditions through experimentation on laboratory animals or through clinical research.

family medicine

The branch of medicine concerned with providing or supervising the medical care of all members of the family.

folk medicine

The use of home remedies and informal healing practices to treat disease.

forensic medicine

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.
SYN: SEE: legal medicine

frontier 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 medicine

SEE: Tactical medicine.

gender-specific 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 medicine

SEE: Personalized medicine.

geriatric medicine

SEE: Geriatrics.

group 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.

herbal medicine

In complementary and alternative medicine, a discipline that uses plants and plant parts to promote healing, wellness, and disease prevention.
SYN: SEE: herbalism; SEE: phytomedicine

high-tech medicine

Engineered advances in medical knowledge and technique that have resulted in improved diagnostic, therapeutic, and rehabilitative procedures.

holistic medicine

A patient-centered approach to healing that strives to meet the cognitive, emotional, physical, social, and spiritual needs of patients.
SYN: SEE: wholistic health
SEE: holism

industrial medicine

SEE: Occupational and environmental medicine.

integrative 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

ABBR: 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.

laboratory medicine

The analysis of blood and body fluids (such as plasma, serum, cerebrospinal fluid, or urine) in the laboratory to aid in the diagnosis and treatment of disease.
SYN: SEE: clinical pathology

legal medicine

SEE: Forensic medicine.

lifestyle medicine

The study of lifestyle choices in preventing and/or managing chronic disease and optimizing wellness.

manual medicine

Any treatment in which the body is adjusted, massaged, positioned, or worked by the hands of the health care provider, as in chiropractic, massage therapy, osteopathy, physiatry, and physical therapy.

mind-body medicine

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.
SYN: SEE: 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.

naturopathic medicine

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. 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.

neuromusculoskeletal medicine

Any health care practice that relies on manipulation or adjustment of bones, ligaments, muscles, and tendons.

nuclear medicine

The branch of medicine involved with the use of radioactive substances for diagnosis, therapy, and research.

occupational and environmental medicine

ABBR: 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.
SYN: SEE: industrial medicine

organized medicine

The associations and institutions composed of politically organized medical professionals, esp. those that lobby government agencies or represent the interests of physicians to the public.

orthodox medicine

Allopathic medicine.

osteopathic medicine

SEE: Osteopathy.

participatory medicine

Health care in which patients take an active role in health promotion, supporting each other, and collaborating with health care providers in making clinical decisions.

patent 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; SEE: prescription

personalized medicine

The study of an individual's unique biochemical and genetic makeup, in order to determine his susceptibility to disease or potential responses to treatment.
SYN: SEE: genomic medicine; SEE: precision medicine; SEE: theranostics

physical medicine

A branch of medicine that uses natural methods, including physical agents, therapeutic exercise, mechanical apparatus, and pharmaceutical agents.
SYN: SEE: physiatrics; SEE: physiatry

precision medicine

SEE: Personalized medicine.

preclinical medicine

SEE: 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.

prescription medicine

SEE: Prescription drug.

preventive medicine

The anticipation and thwarting of disease or injury in individuals and populations.
SYN: SEE: preclinical medicine
SEE: prevention

psychosomatic medicine

SEE: Mind-body medicine.

regenerative 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.
SYN: SEE: reparative medicine

reparative medicine

SEE: 1. Regenerative medicine.
2. Medicine concerned primarily with repair, such as microsurgery for limb reattachment.

retainer medicine

SEE: Concierge medicine.

socialized medicine

A health care delivery system in which the provision of services is controlled by the government.

space medicine

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.
SEE: aerospace medicine

sports medicine

The branch of medicine concerned with the physiology, psychology, and pathology of athletes. Important aspects of sports medicine are the prevention of injuries; their diagnosis and treatment of injury, and the rehabilitation of the athlete.

tactical medicine

Emergency medical care that is provided during battlefield, terrorist, or police operations.
SYN: SEE: front-line medicine
SEE: tactical emergency medical support

Tibetan medicine

The traditional health care practices of Tibet, based primarily on the use of meditation, herbals, chanting, and other healing rituals.

traditional Chinese medicine

ABBR: 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; SEE: tai chi

tropical medicine

The branch of medicine that deals principally with diseases common in tropical or subtropical regions, esp. diseases of parasitic origin.

undersea medicine

SEE: Diving medicine.

vedic medicine

SEE: Ayurveda.

veterinary medicine

The branch of medical science that deals with diagnosis and treatment of diseases of animals.

wireless medicine

SEE: Telemedicine.

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