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A Piece of My Mind
February 3, 2010

An Oath to My Grandfather

Author Affiliations

A Piece of My Mind Section Editor: Roxanne K. Young, Associate Senior Editor.

JAMA. 2010;303(5):397. doi:10.1001/jama.2010.44

A few years ago, in the course of going through some old boxes of memorabilia, I came across a journal I had kept during the first couple months of medical school. “We recited the Hippocratic oath today,” one of the entries began. “Everyone stood up in front of their chairs and said it in unison. I’m so excited to get started with my medical school education!” Reading on, I found something in the text that surprised me. Mixed in with the sentimental and sophomoric musings of an excited young student was an idealism I had forgotten about. “I’m going to become a doctor and buy that building for you,” I had once told my grandfather as a young and impressionable boy.