|Hippocrates treating a child about 2,500 years ago|
As to internal qualifications, he should possess much prudence; not that merely which prevents indiscreet or untimely conversation, but in all his concerns. His mode of life should be perfectly correct; for good manners and modesty contribute greatly to his reputation. He ought to possess circumspection and humanity: haste and assurance will be followed by contempt, although they may occasionally benefit him, for it is not always possible to avoid his services. They are at times useful, but rarely to be employed by the physician who desires to secure esteem. (1)
In regard to manners, he should be grave, without austerity, lest he should be considered proud or misanthropical; and he should avoid perpetual laughter and hilarity, for they are not at all times acceptable.—In his moral character, justice should predominate. It is at all times of infinite importance, and especially in that intercourse that exists between the physician and his patients. These place themselves entirely in his hands; at all times, wives, daughters, and goods are placed at his discretion. Well then does it behoove the physician to be continually on his guard.—And thus much in regard to his mind and body (1)Furthermore, he later adds:
Besides what is said above, something more is wanting to the physician. This is urbanity, Austerity, repulsive to those in health, is much more so to the sick. He must carefully avoid exposing his body too much, or discoursing with the bystanders beyond what is absolutely necessary. A good physician avoids all measures that are not conducive to the welfare of the patient; he adopts nothing that is singular or inefficient. (2)I think we can update this to include all healthcare workers.
- Hippocrates, "Of the physician," epitomised from the original Latin translations by John Redman Coxe, "The writings of Hippocrates and Galen," 1846, Philadelphia, Lindsay and Blakiston
- Hippocrates, "On decency in manner and dress," epitomised from the original Latin translations by John Redman Coxe, "The writings of Hippocrates and Galen," 1846, Philadelphia, Lindsay and Blakiston
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