Medicine (lat. medicina - system of scientific knowledge, aimed at prevention of diseases, treatment of patients, the preservation and strengthening of health of people, life extension.
The condition and level of development of medicine, the methods and content of medical activity are determined by the material conditions of life, social order, the General level of culture. Development of M closely connected with the development of natural Sciences, first of all biology, and engineering, material voorwaa medical science and practice. Theoretical conceptions M formed under the influence of philosophy.
Modern medicine is a system of scientific disciplines, formed in the result of a long process of development and dismemberment. Each of them has its specific area of research and practical application, its tasks and methods, while at the same time, the relationship with other disciplines. Many medical disciplines are combined into three main groups - biomedical, clinical and hygienic. As enrichment of knowledge of the industry Meters are differentiated and are split up. Thus, of primary care was separated as an independent discipline infectious clinic, Phthisiology, endocrinology and others; from surgery, traumatology, orthopedics, ophthalmology, otolaryngology, Oncology, urology, thoracic surgery and other recently in connection with scientific and technological progress has created such new industries as molecular biology, radiobiology, radiation therapy, space M, medical Cybernetics, etc.
New branch of medicine arise not only as a result of division, differentiation, but also by synthesis, combining disciplines, before existed separately. For example, neurosurgery emerged from surgery and neuropathology, children's surgery - of surgery and Pediatrics, radiation genetics - from a combination of radio-biology and genetics, etc.
The formation of new disciplines - progressive phenomenon associated with the enrichment of scientific knowledge - is at the same time, the danger of separation of different scientific branches. This suggests the need to clarify the relationships between the different sectors Meters, their unity, common development and common goals. This task is largely performs history Meters (more accurate designation of history and encyclopedia Meters - in the sense of a body of knowledge). The decisive influence exerted on the state of health and M. diverse social life, is the subject of social hygiene; the latter is closely related to health (see).
History of medicine is divided into public and private. General questions of discipline, the identification of the basic laws of history Meters, the study of main key problems of its development are the subject of history M. as special science; it is the content of a special course in the system of medical education. Common history, M. and private historical and medical information specific to individual industries Meters (therapy, surgery, Pediatrics, health and so on), constitute a system of historical and medical education.
Practical medical activity and medical science are developing in close connection with the General historical process. Periodization of history M. dictated primarily by the General course of human history, the change of social-economic formations. Considering the development of separate branches Meters, must be considered within the General historical periodization specific features of development of each of them.

Medicine - in socialist countries and in the countries of the capitalist had fundamental differences. In "the Communist Manifesto (1848) K. Marx and F. Engels noted that "the bourgeoisie has converted the physician, the lawyer, the priest, the poet, the man of science, into its paid wage workers".
Under capitalism medicine subordinated to the class interests of the bourgeoisie. Medical science in the capitalist countries is strongly influenced by various reactionary idealistic theories. Financial dependence academics and practitioners from entrepreneurs from companies producing various medicinal preparations from private practice has a negative impact on the development of medicine.
Major achievements of outstanding scientists capitalist countries often become the subject of exploitation and profit. Leading medical figures of these countries are struggling to put the medicine in the service of the people.
Medicine in the socialist countries is developing in the interests of all people.
Health care workers is one of the most important tasks of socialist States. State the nature of the medical care determines its leading principles - routine, preventive services, free use and availability, the unity of medical science and practice. The philosophical basis of medical science in the USSR is Dialektika-materialistic understanding of nature, society and man.
Medical science and healthcare in the USSR, fulfilling their humane social-hygienic and professional functions, preserving and strengthening health of the population, contribute to productivity growth, reproduction of labor power, the increase of active working period of a person's life.
In the USSR, medicine has huge development opportunities granted by the socialist political system.
Questions of development of health and medical science are reflected in the programmes of the CPSU. The party and the Government organize and direct the activity of Soviet medicine. Realizing the covenants Century I. Lenin, in the USSR there was established the system of health protection which provides qualified help all population of the country based on the principles of free and universal access.
Soviet medical science is developing in accordance with the objectives of protection and strengthening of health of the entire population; created a wide network of scientific research institutions (see Union of Soviet Socialist Republics).
The most characteristic feature of medicine in the USSR - preventive health care. The unity of the principles of prevention and treatment underlies activities of all the Soviet health care institutions. Preventive orientation of the Soviet health stems from the scientific bases of medicine, which are used by the Soviet physicians. The ideas of I. P. Pavlov play a big role in the development of all branches of medicine and first of all-physiology and clinics.
Socio-prophylactic direction of the Soviet health care and medical science finds especially full expression in hygienic disciplines (General hygiene, public utilities, health, nutrition, school). Among hygienic disciplines special place was occupied by social hygiene, in development of which was attended by the most prominent theorists and organizers of the Soviet health N. A. Semashko, 3. P. Solovyov.
Hygienic discipline take into account and anticipate possible undesirable sanitary consequences of scientific and technical progress; developing and improving methods of prevention and elimination, the possible harmful effects on his physiological adaptive opportunities of the person.
Of particular importance is the development of problems of the environmental protection from pollution and unsustainable use of natural resources, development of methods of improvement of conditions of work, leisure and life; problems of population and other

A prominent place in Soviet medicine took epidemiology, Microbiology and Virology. Developed and introduced into practice of new highly effective vaccines: protivodiareynoe, protivovirusny, protivopozharnaya etc. Practically eliminated many infectious diseases: plague, smallpox, relapsing fever and other Incidence of other infectious diseases is reduced to individual cases.
Soviet clinical medicine has made a great contribution to the development of an original diagnostic methods, conservative and surgical treatment and prevention of many diseases. Leading challenges of today (malignant and cardiovascular pathology, liquidation of communicable diseases and others) are solved by conducting comprehensive research in close collaboration of representatives of theoretical and clinical medicine with the use of the latest achievements of domestic and foreign science and technology.
Further progress of clinical medicine is closely related to the expansion of research in the field of fundamental problems of biology and medicine with the use of new methods: x-ray crystallography, electron microscopy, labeled radioactive compounds, cybernetic systems, etc.
Technological progress has created preconditions for use in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the brain subtle techniques previously possible only in conditions of physiological experiments. Application of mathematical methods, analyzing equipment, as well as analog and digital computers for research of physiological phenomena allowed along with solving some practical problems in stages to study mechanisms of nervous and mental phenomena in humans.
Advances in medical science in the USSR contributed to the extraordinary achievements of - a sharp decrease child mortality, increasing life expectancy, a sharp decrease of infectious diseases.
Further progress of medicine is linked to the developing the scientific-technical revolution. The application of new instruments and devices of high resolution and accuracy with automatic registration many times accelerates the pace of research and allows for a deeper understanding of the nature and pattern of physiological and pathological processes of the organism, to develop and apply the newest methods of diagnostics, treatment and disease prevention. Cm. Legislation on health care, Health care.