Medical Oath

MBBS Caribbean
“It is not the oath that makes us believe the man, but the man the oath.” ― Aeschylus

As I prepared to study for the night, I happened to come across one of my plastic envelopes that held assignments from year 1. I of course, had to stop what I was doing to explore this modern day time capsule (of sorts) and indulge in a moment of nostalgia as I skimmed through each neatly organized sheet of paper.

One assignment, in particular, did catch my eye; it was a supplemental assignment for the course Professionalism, Ethics and Communication in Healthcare where we were to construct an oath as medical students that we could keep and live up to after graduating with our degrees and well into our practice of medicine.

Unlike the American system of medical school where their students attend a white coat ceremony at the inception of their degree, my University doesn't have that at all, so we don't get to stand on stage, receive a new stethoscope and a white coat and recite the Hippocratic Oath, although we do take an oath during a separate oath taking ceremony once we graduate.

I'd like to share the oath a few of my team mates and I constructed, as I think we did a pretty decent job. Feel free to tell me what you think in the comment section below.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -  - - - -

We vow to fulfill, to the best of our judgement and ability, this covenant:

I will be a Healer, first and foremost, a teacher, a confidant and an advisor to anyone who should seek me out or follow in this route. I will strive to put into practice all the teachings and knowledge I have gained and to prevent disease wherever and whenever I can in order to promote a better world in which to live.

I will be responsible and provide for all persons of the wider society who will require my aid in the capacity that I am able so to do.

I will be altruistic and use my discretion when providing moral and emotional support to those who ask for my aid, and will not be afraid to indicate unsurely or refer persons to someone who will be better equipped to help them.

I promise strength, to make impossible choices with a clear mind and a pure heart, strength to fully account myself if such a choice were to result in undesirable circumstances, strength to comfort my patients and their family in time of despair, strength to admit that I am human thus at times insufficient in my skills or expertise.

I will not impose my morals and values nor will I disrespect the privacy, morals or spiritual values of my patients but rather take into consideration the same when they are being treated.

I shall always act with my patient's best interest at heart, and in so doing push aside any form of personal reward, temptation or any activity which will stain my moral character, or contradict my values of integrity, honesty, responsibility and open-mindedness. I will serve as an example to lead those who may stray from a path of justice and I will not breach any component of my value system that may result in censure.

I will not fall prey to pharmaceutical companies or larger healthcare institutions who may be solely seeking to monetize and commercialize my skills and training.

I declare that I have a greater duty to help persons-regardless of their socio-economic status and I will make time to serve others-may it be via community health workshops and medical missions or allowing students to shadow and take part in apprenticeships.

I will constantly and forever remember that I am merely a human being to whom an incredible task has been given. I vow to myself and all those who may hear me to keep this oath and in so doing may I enjoy life and art, be respected while I live and remembered with affection thereafter. May I always act so as to preserve the finest traditions of my calling and may I long experience the joy of healing those who seek my help.

So what do you think? Did you take an oath at your medical school? How was it? Did you enjoy the experience? Share below.

The photo was taken in Berlin, Germany. It is the Neue Wache Memorial, and the statue is of a mother and her dead son. You can read more about the memorial here

No comments