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Hippocrates of Kos
Hippocrates rubens.jpg
Engraving by Peter Paul Rubens, 1638
Native name Ἱπποκράτης
Born c. 460 BC
Kos, Ancient Greece
Died c. 370 BC
Larissa, Ancient Greece
Occupation Physician
Era Classical Greece
Title The Father of Western Medicine

Hippocrates (c. 460 – c. 370 BC)[1] was a Greek doctor who is called the "father of medicine".[2][3][4] He was the first person to write that people got sick for scientific reasons. Previously, people believed that disease was caused by angry gods.

Hippocrates wrote about treating sick people, and many of his writings are still important to doctors today. A commonly known example is patient confidentiality, meaning that doctors cannot discuss the details of a patient with anyone other than the patient themselves. Another well known hippocratic idea is to never knowingly lead a patient to suffering or death. These kinds of ideas are part of medical ethics.

The Hippocratic Oath is named after him. When doctors make this promise, it means they say they will do what is said in the Hippocratic Oath. Though people now think that Hippocrates did not write it, most medical schools today use a newly updated version.

Following is an example of a modern Hippocratic Oath used today at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine.

I do solemnly swear by all I hold most sacred:

  • that I will be loyal to the profession of medicine and just to its members
  • that I will lead my life and practice my art with virtue and honor
  • that into whatsoever home I shall enter it shall be for the good of the sick and the well by the utmost of my power and that I will hold myself aloof from wrong and from corruption and from the tempting of others to vice
  • that I will exercise my art solely for the benefit of my patients, the relief of suffering, the prevention of disease and promotion of health, and I will give no drug and perform no act for an immoral purpose
  • that in the treatment of the sick, I will consider their well-being to be of a greater importance than their ability to compensate my services
  • that what I may see or hear in the course of treatment or even outside the treatment in regard to the lives of persons which is not fitting to be spoken, I will keep inviolably secret
  • that I will commit myself to a lifetime of continued learning of the art and science of medicine
  • these things I do promise and in proportion as I am faithful to this oath, may happiness and good repute be ever mine, but should I trespass and violate this oath, may the reverse be my lot.

References[change | change source]

  1. /hɪˈpɒkrəˌtz/; Greek: Ἱπποκράτης; Hippokrátēs
  2. Grammaticos PC, Diamantis A (2008). "Useful known and unknown views of the father of modern medicine, Hippocrates and his teacher Democritus". Hell J Nucl Med 11 (1): 2–4. PMID 18392218. 
  3. "Hippocrates". Microsoft Encarta Online Encyclopedia. Microsoft Corporation. 2006. Archived from the original on 2009-10-31. 
  4. Strong, W.F.; Cook, John A. (July 2007), "Reviving the Dead Greek Guys" (pdf), Global Media Journal, Indian Edition