Hektoen International

A Journal of Medical Humanities

Tag: Hippocratic Oath

  • Doctor Cabbie: No good deed goes unpunished

    Howard FischerUppsala, Sweden “I was bound by an oath that I took.”– Doctor Cabbie Doctor Cabbie (2014) begins with Deepak V. Chopra (played by Vinay Virmani) reciting the Hippocratic Oath along with his graduating class from the University of New Delhi. The face of this newly-minted doctor is glowing with joy. He has fulfilled his…

  • Morris Fishbein, MD—foe of four-flushers, flimflammers, and fakes

    Laura King Atlanta, Georgia, United States     Morris Fishbein. Harris & Ewing, photographer. [ca. 1938]. Via Library of Congress  Born in St. Louis, Missouri, on July 22, 1889, and raised in Indianapolis, Morris Fishbein emerged from his humble origins as the second eldest of eight children born to a Jewish immigrant tin peddler (Benjamin…

  • Literatim: Essays at the intersections of medicine and culture

    Arpan K. BanerjeeSolihull, UK In this interesting collection, medical historian Howard Markel has brought together his previously published essays from the New England Journal of Medicine, Journal of the American Medical Association, and the PBS Newsletter into one volume. The collection of eighty pieces covers a wide range of topics that have interested Markel over…

  • Sidelined

    Katherine WhiteRockville, Maryland, United States From the safety of my home, I watch the unfolding of the slow-motion car wreck that is the COVID-19 pandemic. Retired from the practice of neonatal medicine for over eight years, my medical license has been inactive for half that time. In my state of Maryland, the web page for…

  • Gymnopédie

    Mark Tan Northwest Deanery, UK   First phrase of Gymnopédie. Erik Satie, 1888. Gymnopédie No. 1. Public domain Oblique et coupant l’ombre un torrent éclatant Ruisselait en flots d’or sur la dalle polie Où les atomes d’ambre au feu se miroitant Mêlaient leur sarabande à la gymnopédie [English translation]: Slanting and shadow-cutting a bursting stream…

  • Life is short and Art is long: reflections on the first Hippocratic aphorism

    Anthony Papagiannis Thessaloniki, Greece   The ruins of the Asclepeion in the Greek island of Kos, the birthplace of Hippocrates. Photo courtesy of author. Some five centuries before Christ, the ancient father of medicine Hippocrates used to instruct his students that “Life is short and Art is long; opportunity fleeting, experiment treacherous, judgment difficult.” (Ο…

  • A student’s call for mentorship

    Stephanie GrachChicago, Illinois, United States The Hippocratic Oath is surprisingly short in length given its indisputable importance to the medical community over the past 2,000 years. Its rules—such as “I will use my power to help the sick to the best of my ability and judgment” and “I will be chaste and religious in my…

  • Has medicine lost the ethics battle?

    Patrick D. Guinan This article was first published in the May 1998 issue of Linacre Quarterly. Modern medicine began with the Greeks and has developed over the past 2,500 years. Medical ethics, which was also initiated by the Greeks, and summarized in the Hippocratic Oath, has guided the moral actions of the physician in his…

  • A reflection on the authority gained through tradition: How implementing the Hippocratic Oath in medical school commencement helped legitimize the modern American medical profession

    Chloé M. DeLisleColombia The taking of the Hippocratic Oath is an oral tradition that encourages the participants to feel a continued commitment to a professional set of values and ethics.1 By invoking the gods it also creates a divine link, reinforcing the physicians’ responsibility to uphold a sacred tradition and binding them to each other…

  • Is there a united Hippocratic school?

    Adil MenonChicago, Illinois, United States Hippocrates once asserted that while “many admire, few know,” a truth that would come to cast a long shadow over his own legacy. Eager to connect themselves to a famous name, if not to the practices or ideology he espoused, a multitude of schools across the ancient Greek world have hailed…