2650-2600 BC

Drawing of ImhotepImhotep was a physician, sage, architect, astrologer, and chief minister and physician to Djoser the second king of Egypt’s third dynasty. He has been considered as one of the founders of ancient Egyptian medicine. He performed surgeries and used established methods for examining, diagnosing, and treating patients. Like for other healers during this time, spiritual beliefs were an important part of his practice. He was later worshipped by Egyptians and Greeks as a god of medicine and became associated with Asclepios, the Greek god of medicine.

Imhotep characterized diseases by where they were in the body (abdomen, bladder, rectum, eyes, skin). His therapeutic methods involved surgery and pharmacology. His medicines, mostly herbal, were of his own creation. He knew the position and function of the vital organs and circulation of the blood system.


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Garrett, Romeo B. (1978). Imhotep--Father of medicine. Negro History Bulletin, 41, 5, 876-77.

Hurry, Jamieson (1926/1978). Imhotep, the vizier and physician of King Dosier and afterwards the Egyptian god of medicine. NY: AMS Press.

Osler, William (2004). The evolution of modern medicine. Kessinger Publishing. Retrieved from on February 26, 2010.