My article in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine
J R Soc Med. 2013 Jul;106(7):288-92
can also be read in full here in the James Lind Library online
The special interest in each person’s particular characteristics distinguishes Hippocratic medicine significantly from modern medicine. Hippocrates put the person at the center of his attention, while modern medicine focuses on the disease. Hippocrates was first and foremost interested in finding out what led to the development of the symptoms experienced by the person. He distinguished lifestyle patterns and personal characteristics that predisposed to certain conditions. Although modern medicine is increasingly accepting the importance of lifestyle in the development of chronic diseases, it continues to give priority to examining the illness and treating the symptoms. Hippocratic therapies involved primarily changes in food, exercise and other lifestyle patterns while modern medical treatments concentrate on pharmacological and surgical interventions.
In The Art, the writer gives general advice on how a patient should be treated. He explains that medical treatment consists of much more than drugs:
The most famous doctors cure by changing the diet and lifestyle of their patient and, by using other substances. Such capable doctors have the knowledge and ability to use
the therapeutic properties of most natural or man-made products (The Art 2.6; Jones 1923)