U of Pittsburgh med students pen own oath; covers COVID-19, eliminating biases

A new oath recited by first-year medical students at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine addresses racial injustice and misinformation, according to NPR.

Members of the class of 2024 at the medical school wrote the oath, and students recited it during orientation events for the fall semester, in addition to a traditional version of the Hippocratic oath, the university said.

The oath for the class of 2024 discusses COVID-19, healthcare disparities and racial injustice.

“As the entering class of 2020, we start our medical journey amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and a national civil rights movement reinvigorated by the killings of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery. We honor the 700,000+ lives lost to COVID-19, despite the sacrifices of healthcare workers,” begins the oath, which students spent 80 hours writing while working with advisers and student affairs leadership.

The oath also asks physicians to “champion diversity in both medicine and society and promote an inclusive environment by respecting the perspectives of others and relentlessly seeking to identify and eliminate my personal biases.” Additionally, the oath asks physicians to combat misinformation and educate themselves on social determinants of health.

Tito Onyekweli, a first-year medical student, said in a news release that the oath-writing committee believes the new oath “acknowledges the context of U.S. history and medicine, and uses it to explain our current state.”

University officials said each incoming class of medical school students from now on will have the opportunity to write its own oath during orientation week.


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