Medical Figures of Ancient Egypt
Ancient Egyptian physicians relied heavily on status and connections. They strongly believed in mythology and not so much in straight forward medical ways. The two most famous physicians from Ancient Egypt were Lady Peseshet and Imhotep.
Lady Peseshet lived around the Fourth Dynasty Period. She was the first female physician in history. Lady Peseshet was extremely experienced in medicine. Her vast knowledge of funeral burials to her familiarity of training mid-wives, allowed her to have great notoriety. Thanks to her participation in Egyptian Medicine, she was given the title of Overseer of Doctors. Her wealthy status allowed her to practice medicine, and acquire respect from others for her actions. Lady Peseshet opened the door for wealthy female physicians to establish practices.
Imhotep (3000 B.C.-2950 B.C.) was the first known physician. He was not born into wealth, but acquired the status as Godhood in Ancient Egypt. He acquired this status for being a great doctor. Imhotep’s acclaim to fame was his ability to bring fertility to women who were barren. Magic was the credited ingredient in his healing ways; however, medical skill was never mentioned. His strong belief in mythology allowed for his career to prosper, and advance him in other fields under the rule of King Zoser (Third Dynasty).
“Peseshe.” World Eras. Ed. Edward I. Bleiberg. Vol. 5: Ancient Egypt, 2615 – 332 B.C.E.. Detroit: Gale Group, 2002. 286. Gale World History In Context. Web. 16 Sept. 2010.
“Imhotep (c. 3000 B.C.-2950 B.C.).” Encyclopedia of World Biography. Detroit: Gale, 1998. Gale World History In Context. Web. 16 Sept. 2010.