The Vow

The original Hippocratic Oath, that famous pledge associated with becoming a physician, is ancient. The original precludes the use of “the knife,” and it includes a lifelong promise to give money, if needed, to the student’s instructor. It also contains ideals that are familiar today: that medicine is an art as well as a science; that patient privacy is important; that doctors have special obligations to all human beings.

The oath (in original and more modern versions) recently served as the inspiration for what we’re calling “the vow,” a series of commitments written by the first class of students to experience the new curriculum. All of the WWAMI sites participated; this is the version created by Seattle students.

I solemnly pledge to consecrate my life to the service of humanity.

I will honor the selfless commitment of all our teachers, including faculty, patients and peers. Even when the lesson is challenging, I will demonstrate gratitude for the gift of their time and expertise.

I will exercise moral integrity — being mindful of the humanity of my future patients, colleagues and myself.

The health of my patient will be my first consideration.

I will respect and hold the secrets that are confided in me beyond the life of my patient and for the remainder of my life.

I will maintain, by all the means in my power, the responsibility and honor of the medical profession and contribute to fulfilling its noble ideals.

My colleagues will be my sisters and brothers, combining our strengths and supporting each other in our weaknesses.

I will not permit considerations of age, disease or disability, creed, ethnic origin, gender, nationality, political affiliation, race, sexual orientation, social standing or any other factor to intervene between my duty and my patient; I will acknowledge and actively combat my own prejudices and the prejudices of the structures I am under.

I will maintain the utmost respect for my patients, acknowledging our shared humanity, recognizing them as individuals, and will walk with them through their journey.

I will not use my medical knowledge to violate human rights and civil liberties, even under threat.

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