Medical School Students Write New Hippocratic Oath to Address Social Inequities

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Emily Grillo, Staff Writer

Twelve first-year medical students attending the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine wrote a new version of the Hippocratic Oath, the oath that medical students have to swear upon before they can become licensed physicians. 

Many medical schools in the U.S. have their students write a new form of the Hippocratic Oath. However, this oath is special in that it lists specific individual’s names that have been victims of police brutality to showcase continuing violence in America. 

This oath also gives support to minority groups, discussing how minorities have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic and how physicians should use their power to help minorities as much as possible. 

This newly written Hippocratic Oath is very important to today’s society with all that is going on during this pandemic and with the Black Lives Matter movement. The new oath reads, “I will be an ally to those of low socioeconomic status, the BIPOC community, the LGBTQIA+ community, womxn/women, differently-abled individuals, and other underserved groups in order to dismantle the systemic racism and prejudice that medical professionals and society have perpetuated.” Having doctors say these lines and abide by them can substantially help minorities in this country. The BLM movement became widespread because the African-American community is tired of the prejudices people have against them and other minorities, but if physicians can swear to this oath and these lines specifically, then the prejudice in the medical field can drastically decrease. 

It’s incredible how a group of medical students created something for a class project that has now turned into a major idea, as Insider and NPR have both covered the story.

This oath makes me have faith that other students will look deeper and try to make reforms that help to benefit society, just like those students did.