Tuesday, October 11, 2016

The Veterinary Oath

Long ago, a Greek physician known as Hippocrates probably wrote what is now known as the Hippocratic Oath, an oath physicians take to abide by certain rules, ethical standards, and so forth. The original oath has since been revised for modern standards, but many of its key principles still hold. Veterinarians take a different oath, called the Veterinarian's Oath, to use their skills and knowledge for the benefit of animal health, animal welfare, public health, and the advancement of medical knowledge.

The full Veterinarian's Oath, as outlined by the AVMA (American Veterinary Medical Association), was adopted in 1954. It has since undergone several revisions and currently reads as follows:

Being admitted to the profession of veterinary medicine, I solemnly swear to use my scientific knowledge and skills for the benefit of society through the protection of animal health and welfare, the prevention and relief of animal suffering, the conservation of animal resources, the promotion of public health, and the advancement of medical knowledge.
I will practice my profession conscientiously, with dignity, and in keeping with the principles of veterinary medical ethics.  I accept as a lifelong obligation the continual improvement of my professional knowledge and competence. 

Reprinted from AAVMC Pre-Veterinary Pathways October 2016 Newsletter.
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