Tracing the Origins of the Physician’s Medical Bag

Document Type: Original Article


History of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Thessaly, Larissa,Greece


The structure of the materials inside a medical bag needs to be arranged in such a manner, that the treating physician to be able, even blindfolded, to quite his way through, in order to easy grasp every instrument and tool. This was an axiom firstly recorded by Hippocrates in ancient Greece. On the other hand, Egyptians and Palestinians used medical kids at about the same era, followed in later centuries by Muslim physicians. The historical debate of who was the innovator to manufacture such a box, or bag, still remains open for discussion.  Our study tries to follow the origins of the physician’s medical bag in antiquity.