The Hippocratic Oath! Never Do Harm!
My husband and I just returned from visiting our youngest daughter, Mandi, in New York City and seeing our son-in-law, Cole, graduate from NYU’s Medical School! Health care debates aside, there are many good reasons to be hopeful for the future of the world of medicine and for having a renewed faith in those who have dedicated their lives to overseeing that the best outcomes for our health and well-being are made possible!
The Original Hippocratic Oath
The Hippocratic Oath has withstood the ages of time and still sets the precedence for high standards to be set by all doctors to follow as they establish their medical practices. Like many other medical school commencement services taking place throughout the United States, New York Univeristy’s School of Medicine, Class of 2014, recited the Hippocratic Oath during their graduation ceremony. (Cole’s graduating class recited a modified version of the oath adapted for our modern times by the late Professor John G. Curtis.)
“I do solemnly swear by that which I do hold most sacred:”
“That I will lead my life and practice my art in uprightness and honor;”
“That into whatsoever house I shall enter, it shall be for the good of the sick to the utmost of my power;”
The keynote speaker at Cole’s graduation, Dr. Samuel Shem, a Rhodes Scholar, a member of the Harvard Medical School faculty, and a noted medical author, told the graduating medical students…
“Be part of the best America has to offer!”
“I holding myself aloof from wrong, from corruption, from the tempting of others to vice;”
“That I will exercise my art solely for the cure of my patients, and give no drug, perform no operation for a criminal purpose, even if solicited, far less suggest it;”
Dr. Shem also wisely counseled the students to…
“Speak up if you notice cruelties in your profession, don’t spread more suffering around, at the very least, don’t just doctor–HEAL!”
“That whatsoever I shall see or hear of the lives of men which is not fitting to be spoken, I will keep inviolably secret;”
“These things I do promise and in proportion as I am faithful to this oath may happiness and good repute ever be mine–the opposite if I shall be forsworn!”
Dr. Shem’s closing remarks included this advice to these new doctors as they look forward to their various residency assignments…
“Be carriers of caring! Learn your trade in the world–and know that your patients are your world.”
Like all wise words we hear, these truths hold their integrity for all of us in our various walks of life! I was deeply touched by the spirit of enthusiasm for their ability of now being able to contribute to the power of healing that was exhibited by the fine men and women of New York University’s School of Medicine 2014 graduates!
Congratulations, Cole and Mandi!
You deserve only the best as you continue your next four years in New York!
Do you have an oath or life motto you try to live by–either personal or professional?