Hippocratic Physician Oath
Hilary Costello Art

Hippocratic Physician Oath

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Perhaps the most enduring, certainly the most quoted, tradition in the history of medicine is the Hippocratic Oath. Named after the famous Greek philosopher, Hippocrates (460-380 BC), this oath defines the medical ethics of doctors. The oath has evolved from its original version as language, society, and social interactions have dictated many changes to the oath over the nearly 2500 years since it was created. The oath continues to illuminate the core values and statements of good character and high integrity despite the many translations, modifications, and modern versions.

By the late 17th Century, standards of professional behavior had been established in the Western World. The American Medical Association adopted the first code of medical ethics in 1846. The seeds of this document were sown by Hippocrates and the early Greek philosophical concepts of medicine and the doctor patient relationship.

The image of the caduceus incorporates the early Greco-Roman symbology of medicine and healing. The caduceus has become the definitive international symbol of medicine and is illustrated in its early version with the staff, snakes, and wings.

The Hippocratic Oath defines many of the hopes and expectations we hold for professionals in the medical field, as both colleagues and patients. Reading, implementing, and embodying the ethical values in the Hippocratic Oath are ways to connect with the past and lay the foundation for the future of the modern doctor patient relationship.

A favorite in the offices of conventional medicine, naturopathic medicine, Classical Chinese Medicine, medical spas, and educational institutions.

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