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What Hippocrates Knew and We Have Forgotten


Medical students hear about the Hippocratic Oath during the first days of medical school, but what does it actually state? Hippocrates was an ancient Greek physician who lived from 460 to 370 BC, so how relevant is his interpretation of medicine nowadays? Dr. John Patrick, a retired pediatrician and now a world-renown lecturer, explores these questions further.

“What the Hippocratic Oath gave substance to was a vision of a medical community with a predictable character of high ethical standards which could support justifiable trust between physician and patient with all the therapeutic benefit which such a community produces.” Dr. Patrick argues that today, medicine has become more commercialized with a loss of these “communities of character.” Therefore how can we currently put the Hippocratic oath into practice?

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