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Nov 3, 2003
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I know they do the hippocratic oath in allopathic schools, but do osteopathic schools also do hippocratic oath...and if not...what oath do we take? Thanks....i have always been confused about this...and also...if we take a oath...when...during the white coat ceromony? thanks a lot!!!


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Apr 25, 2003
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we take the osteopathic oath, look on the aoa website i'm sure it is there. not all md schools take the hippocratic oath, some schools have their own oath as the hippocratic oath is a bit dated to say the least(many people don't want to swear to greek gods, and promise not to perform surgery). Ironically, as old as the oath is, using it is largely an american tradition. Taking the oath is entirely ceremonially and means nothing legally. I don't know what you will say during your white coat ceremony, I think all the schools are different.


USC Pulm/CCM 2014
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Oct 10, 2002
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I've pasted the osteopathic oath below.

I won't be taking it for moral and aesthetic reasons. I'm a bit leery of the part promising to "give no drugs for deadly purposes," not because I'm gung-ho about doing so, but rather because it seems a way of dancing around the traditional Hippocratic prohibition on abortion. Presumably a DO could maintain his oath by refusing to do a pharmaceutical abortion and waiting a few months until he could jump straight to the surgery. You'll notice that there's really no "Do no harm" clause in the whole thing.

Which brings up the aesthetic objections--the oath seems far more concerned with loyalty to school and profession than actual professional responsibility. When I read it, I get the sense of a class cheer more than a sacred oath. I'm not sure I could get through the "to my college I will be loyal" part with a straight face, and definitely not by the time I had to say "enunciated by Andrew Taylor Still."

In its full 1954 glory:

I do hereby affirm my loyalty to the profession I am about to enter. I will be mindful always of my great responsibility to preserve the health and the life of my patients, to retain their confidence and respect both as a physician and a friend who will guard their secrets with scrupulous honor and fidelity, to perform faithfully my professional duties, to employ only those recognized methods of treatment consistent with good judgment and with my skill and ability, keeping in mind always nature's laws and the body's inherent capacity for recovery.

I will be ever vigilant in aiding in the general welfare of the community , sustaining its laws and institutions, not engaging in those practices which will in any way bring shame or discredit upon myself or my profession. I will give no drugs for deadly purposes to any person, though it may be asked of me.

I will endeavor to work in accord with my colleagues in a spirit of progressive cooperation and never by word or by act cast imputations upon them or their rightful practices.

I will look with respect and esteem upon all those who have taught me my art. To my college I will be loyal and strive always for its best interests and for the interests of the students who will come after me. I will be ever alert to further the application of basic biologic truths to the healing arts and to develop the principles of osteopathy which were first enunciated by Andrew Taylor Still.

Of course, then there's the osteopathic pledge , which is the same, but different, and has been endorsed by the AOA "to unify the profession and serve as a foundation upon which the future of Osteopathic Medicine can be built" and is intended to build "loyalty and pride." I personally prefer building my loyalty and pride with legos (there are special sets).

Preamble to the Osteopathic Pledge of Commitment

As members of the osteopathic medical profession, in an effort to instill loyalty and strengthen the profession, we recall the tenents on which this profession is founded: The dynamic interaction of mind, body and spirit; the primary role of the musculoskeletal system; the preventive medicine as the key to maintain health. We recognize the work our predecessors have accomplished in building the profession and we commit ourselves to continuing that work.


Osteopathic Pledge of Commitment

I pledge to: Provide compassionate, quality care to my patients; Partner with them to promote health; Display integrity and professionalism throughout my career; Advance the philosophy, practice and science of osteopathic medicine; Continue life-long learning; Support my profession with loyalty in action, word and deed; and Live each day as an example of what an osteopathic physician should be.
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