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Medicine is a branch of health science concerned with maintaining health and restoring it by treating disease. Medicine is both an area of knowledge (a science of body systems, diseases and their treatment), and the application of that knowledge (by the medical profession and other health professionals such as nurses, physiotherapists etc.) The various specialized branches of the science of medicine correspond to equally specialized medical professions dealing with particular organs or diseases. The medical profession refers to the social structure of the group of people formally trained to apply medical knowledge to treat disease. Many countries have legal limitations as to who may practice medicine.

Systems of medical and healthcare practices have existed since at least the dawn of recorded history. These systems have developed differently in differing cultures and regions. The medicine practiced in the Western world has an almost exclusive Western tradition. Many other traditions of medicine and healthcare are still widely practiced throughout the world, most of which are still considered to be separate and distinct from biomedicine or Western medicine. The most highly developed systems of medicine outside the Western system (sometimes termed the Hippocratic tradition) are the Ayurvedic tradition of India and traditional Chinese medicine. Veterinary medicine is the medicine practice specialized for other animal species.

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