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November 1, 1985

More Snakes

Author Affiliations

Upper Lake, Calif

JAMA. 1985;254(17):2410. doi:10.1001/jama.1985.03360170049017

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To the Editor.—  I read with interest Dr Rakel's comments on the relative merits of Aesculapius' staff and the caduceus. Has anyone noticed how frequently representations of the staff feature a short but prominent branch near the top? Any boy scout knows that a forked stick is the appropriate tool for controlling a venomous serpent. What more concise and graphic symbol for the healing art?