Medical is a large and varied field of study. It includes a number of sub-fields, such as anatomy (the study of body structures), pharmacology (the study of drugs and their effects), physiology (the study of normal bodily functions), biochemistry (the chemical basis of life) and many others. Medical science is advancing rapidly, driven by new technology and discoveries in related sciences such as biology, physics and mathematics. This has had a major impact on medical practice and decision-making, as well as influencing medical research.
Medical science is a discipline that deals with the cause, diagnosis and treatment of disease. It is based on scientific methods and aims to improve health and wellbeing by developing and testing medicines and treatments and increasing knowledge through research. It is a core component of the life sciences and health sciences.
Medicine is a complex discipline, and it can be difficult to explain in simple terms. In general, it is best to avoid advanced technical words or medical jargon in articles on health topics, especially if they will not be used again later in the article. Instead, a short plain English explanation should be provided and the technical term placed within parentheses. This approach helps readers follow the article without being confused or turned off by specialised terminology.
The most common area of medical knowledge is derived from clinical experience, often supported by evidence from laboratory experiments and randomized controlled trials. In this way, new drugs can be tested in a controlled environment before being given to patients, and this ensures that the most effective therapies are employed. However, there are many other areas of medical knowledge that are not based on direct clinical observation and experiment. For example, public health and epidemiology are concerned with threats to human health based on population health analysis, while the branch of medicine called psychiatry is concerned with the causes, diagnosis and treatment of cognitive, perceptual and emotional disorders.
Other branches of medical knowledge are derived from other sciences, such as chemistry, physics and biology. These contribute to medical science by providing understanding of the fundamental principles that underlie the workings of the biological world. In particular, the fields of cytology and embryology involve microscopic study of cells and the development of organisms. The branch of biology known as genomics is a very important part of medicine, because it provides the genetic underpinnings of diseases and conditions. Molecular biology is another important field that has emerged from the application of chemistry and physics to the understanding of biological systems. This is now a key component of modern medicine. Likewise, the discipline of pharmacology uses basic chemistry and physics to develop medicines that will specifically target physiological processes. This type of medication is usually more effective and safer than other types of drugs.