Hippocrates’ first aphorism presents a structurally simple but conceptually complex series of observations on the art and science of medicine. Its principles are timeless, relevant to physicians in antiquity as well as in the current era. This article analyzes Hippocrates’ aphorism in light of Galen’s and others’ commentaries on it and interprets the principles espoused by Hippocrates in light of the perennial challenges of the practice of medicine.


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