Razi’s innovations in medical sciences

Document Type : Brief Report


1 Department of Phytopharmaceuticals (Traditional Pharmacy), Faculty of Pharmacy, Shiraz University of Medical Science, Shiraz, Iran

2 Department of BioHealth Informatics, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, Indiana, USA

3 Pharmaceutical Sciences Research Center, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran


Abu Bakr Muhammad ibn Zakariyya Ar-Razi (Rhazes), one of the greatest Persian Physician, Philosopher, polymath, alchemist, and encylopedist, has significant contributions to medical sciences. His ingenious innovations in medical sciences, from differential diagnosis of measles and smallpox to applying anesthesia sponge and discovery of Ethanol and pioneering for medicinal chemistry and pharmacy, have held his name in high esteem as an unforgettable icon in medical history. His relentless tendency toward criticism of other scholars—regardless to the reputation of them—might have helped medieval practitioner to unshackle them from zeitgeist of fundamentalism. Available literature was extracted from Scopus, Google scholar, Pubmed and Science Direct databases and Persian publications. Four characteristics have been extracted as distinguishing factors which have made Razi a prominent figure in his working fields. Briefly they can be defined as meticulousness in his medical practice, relentless endurance in pursuing scientific problems, believing in scientific criticism and his irrevocable commitment to medical ethics.


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