Graduating and signing the Declaration of Geneva

I can still vividly remember my graduation and reciting the Declaration of Geneva, our modern day Hippocratic Oath, with my classmates. It was a proud moment and I felt thrilled to be entering such a worthy profession.

While the Declaration of Geneva is certainly extensive, it is not comprehensive, and I believe it is missing something that is core to our profession. Can you see what’s missing?

Declaration of Geneva

AT THE TIME OF BEING ADMITTED AS A MEMBER OF THE MEDICAL PROFESSION:

  • I SOLEMNLY PLEDGE to consecrate my life to the service of humanity;
  • I WILL GIVE to my teachers the respect and gratitude that is their due;
  • I WILL PRACTISE my profession with conscience and dignity;
  • THE HEALTH OF MY PATIENT will be my first consideration;
  • I WILL RESPECT the secrets that are confided in me, even after the patient has died;
  • I WILL MAINTAIN by all the means in my power, the honour and the noble traditions of the medical profession;
  • MY COLLEAGUES will be my sisters and brothers;
  • 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 MAINTAIN the utmost respect for human life;
  • I WILL NOT USE my medical knowledge to violate human rights and civil liberties, even under threat;
  • I MAKE THESE PROMISES solemnly, freely and upon my honour.

The core foundation of being a doctor is to ‘first, do no harm.’ As a profession we apply this with rigour to the medicines we prescribe and the procedures we carry out, nothing reaches a patient without a double-blind randomised controlled trial, but we are failing to apply it to something that is equally as important; how we look after ourselves.

There is a huge amount of research that shows that the majority of doctors are stressed beyond levels that are productive. That stress leads to doctors depersonalising from their patients, disconnecting emotionally, and this is directly causes increases in major medical errors.

How we are ‘being’ as doctors is causing us as a profession to harm our patients.

I believe that the old paradigm of medicine, that we must sacrifice our own lives for our patients, is fundamentally flawed and has been proven to in fact harm our patients.

The new paradigm we need to adopt is that to serve our patients we must first take care of ourselves.

That’s why I’ve started a petition to lobby the World Medical Association to evolve the Declaration of Geneva to include:

I WILL CARE FOR MYSELF to care for my patients

I encourage you to join my by putting your name to this movement so the next generation of medical students enters a profession that is better than when we entered it.

I can still vividly remember my graduation and reciting the Declaration of Geneva, our modern day Hippocratic Oath, with my classmates. It was a proud moment and I felt thrilled to be entering such a worthy profession.

While the Declaration of Geneva is certainly extensive, it is not comprehensive, and I believe it is missing something that is core to our profession. Can you see what’s missing?

Declaration of Geneva

AT THE TIME OF BEING ADMITTED AS A MEMBER OF THE MEDICAL PROFESSION:

  • I SOLEMNLY PLEDGE to consecrate my life to the service of humanity;
  • I WILL GIVE to my teachers the respect and gratitude that is their due;
  • I WILL PRACTISE my profession with conscience and dignity;
  • THE HEALTH OF MY PATIENT will be my first consideration;
  • I WILL RESPECT the secrets that are confided in me, even after the patient has died;
  • I WILL MAINTAIN by all the means in my power, the honour and the noble traditions of the medical profession;
  • MY COLLEAGUES will be my sisters and brothers;
  • 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 MAINTAIN the utmost respect for human life;
  • I WILL NOT USE my medical knowledge to violate human rights and civil liberties, even under threat;
  • I MAKE THESE PROMISES solemnly, freely and upon my honour.

The core foundation of being a doctor is to ‘first, do no harm.’ As a profession we apply this with rigour to the medicines we prescribe and the procedures we carry out, nothing reaches a patient without a double-blind randomised controlled trial, but we are failing to apply it to something that is equally as important; how we look after ourselves.

There is a huge amount of research that shows that the majority of doctors are stressed beyond levels that are productive. That stress leads to doctors depersonalising from their patients, disconnecting emotionally, and this is directly causes increases in major medical errors.

How we are ‘being’ as doctors is causing us as a profession to harm our patients.

I believe that the old paradigm of medicine, that we must sacrifice our own lives for our patients, is fundamentally flawed and has been proven to in fact harm our patients.

The new paradigm we need to adopt is that to serve our patients we must first take care of ourselves.

That’s why I’ve started a petition to lobby the World Medical Association to evolve the Declaration of Geneva to include:

I WILL CARE FOR MYSELF to care for my patients

I encourage you to join my by putting your name to this movement so the next generation of medical students enters a profession that is better than when we entered it.

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  • published this page in MedWorld Blog 2016-10-07 11:27:32 +1300