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Modern medicine has brought the practice of medicine to be more focused on specific diagnosis and specific treatment. Frequently, the treatment is a specialized one. The advances in medicine made it necessary to draft revisions in the Hippocratic Oath. Changes to the Hippocratic Oath were necessary to gain relevance. This issue of the SCCMA Bulletin Magazine (on page 10 and 11) contains both the original Hippocratic Oath written in the fifth century BC and the current Declaration of Geneva, drafted by the World Medical Association in 1948. The latter is further revised in 1964 when the prayer was omitted, thus making it a more secular version. It is interesting to note that the original version begins by taking a sworn oath to Apollo Physician and to the gods and goddesses, and so on. The newer version immediately defines the expectations of a Doctor of Medicine, imploring us to respect our peers, as well as our patients. The Oath calls us to remember that there is an art in the practice of medicine and science. It addresses that we, doctors, are given the responsibility to prevent diseases, as prevention is preferable to cure. Note, these documents were written in 1948 and revised in 1964. Who would have thought that “I will apply, for the benefit of the sick, all measures which are required, avoiding those twin traps of overtreatment and therapeutic nihilism…Most especially must I tread with care in matters of life and death. Above all, I must not play at God,” would be called into attention in issues that face our profession today. End of life, compassionate care of the dying, duty to patient care, not to an insurance entity or government requirement – Who would have thought that as early as the fifth

century, rigorous and detailed documentation of observation and findings would be vital in the care of the individual. Now we have the EHR. The issues that surround abortion and lethal injection calls into question whether we are violating the Hippocratic Oath. Debate on these two issues is only the beginning. In times like today, we are reminded to be centered in the Oath that we took as Doctors of Medicine. Finally, I would like to believe that if we do not violate that Oath, I “may enjoy life and art, respected while I live and remembered with affection there-after. May I always act so as to preserve the finest tradition of my calling and long experience the joy of healing those who seek my help.” On most days, I do believe it. I am passionate about being a doctor. It was a gift I was given, which I hold with high regard. Perhaps in some way I have lived sharing the knowledge of medicine to those who have crossed my path, like those who have graduated this year in medical school, or allied medical professional schools. We all work together to care for our fellow human beings. First do no harm. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Legacy Wealth Advisors

Managing the reserve investment accounts of the Santa Clara County Medical Association (SCCMA) and the Bureau of Medical Economics (BME) since 2000 1900 The Alameda Suite 510 San Jose, CA 95126 P: (408) 452-7700 F: (408) 452-7470 Email:

Wealth Management

Legacy offers a broad range of wealth management services to SCCMA and MCMS physician members and their families. Such services include: • Financial Planning, Risk Management, Educational & Retirement Planning Projections • Liquidity Management and Cash Flow Analyses • Estate Tax and Charitable Planning • Existing Portfolio Analysis • Design and Implementation of Investment Strategies

Member Savings! Legacy offers a one-hour complimentary financial planning check-up to Association members (this is a $500 savings). For more information, please call Lawrence Pizzella at (408) 452-7700 or email


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2016 May/June  

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