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Hippocrates and Modern Medicine

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Event Information

26 Oct 2023, 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm

Hellenic Museum, 280 William St, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia


About the Talk

The ancient Greek physician Hippocrates (c. 460-377 BCE) is often referred to as the "Father of Medicine”. 

In many ways, Hippocrates was ahead of his time as his teachings both remain relevant today and shaped the foundation of modern medicine. The Hippocratic approach moved away from traditional and long-standing supernatural thinking surrounding medical practise, such as disease as a punishment for sin and attributing medical conditions to divine intervention, towards more rational approaches for understanding the human body. This was done by providing more “scientific” reasons for ailments, making diagnoses and prescribing lifestyle advice such as diet, exercise, rest, hygiene, and sleep.

While Hippocrates did not have the same scientific evidence as we do today to back his approach, his methods of observation, empirical learning, and clinical knowledge brought him to the conclusion that lifestyle changes, the climate, and the environment manifested and impacted diseases. Hippocrates also extensively used available herbal medicine for treatments of diseases, which, since his time, has been replaced with pharmaceutical medicine, many derived from evidence-based herbs.

This talk will be presented by Associate Professor Vicki Kotsirilos AM, who will speak on the various Hippocratic treatments and philosophy used in Antiquity that remain relevant to today’s medicine citing from the available research.

The 45-minute talk will be followed by a 15-minute Q&A session. 

About the Presenter

Associate Professor Vicki Kotsirilos AM is a well-known respected medical practitioner and adjunct Professor with the University of Western Sydney, who visited the birthplace of Hippocrates on the island of Kos. She sourced information from the local Hippocrates Library and Asclepeon, the local healing centre in Honor of the God of Healing Asclepius.

A/Professor Kotsirilos has delivered numerous public talks, notably including as a keynote presenter on the works of Hippocrates at the Medico-legal Society Conference held on the isladn of Kos in 2011, and with The Hellenic Medical Society of Australia (HMSA) in 2018. She has published over 150 articles on various medical topics across a number of medical journals and public magazines, including the Medical Journal of Australia Insight, Prevention magazine, Australian Doctor, Medical Observer, and the Medial Republic

Her work has seen her awarded a Member (AM) in the General Division of the Order of Australia in 2016, and an Australia Day Environmental Award by Bayside City Council in 2017, among others. A/Professor Kotsirilos’ s goal and passion is driven in helping our society maintain a healthy community and population and preserving and protecting our natural environment for our future generations to enjoy.


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