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Anonymous, M.D.
"Revised Hippocratic Oath"

This parodistic selection originally appeared in a publication called The Journal of Irreproducible Results.

I swear by Apollo the physician, by Aesculapius, by Melvin Belli, and by my DEA number, to keep according to the advice of my accountant and attorney the following oath:

To consider dear to me as my stock certificates him who enabled me to learn this art: the banker who approved my educational loans; to live in common with him and to acquire my mortgages through his bank and that of his sons; to consider equally dear my teachers, and if necessary to split fees with them and request from them unnecessary consultations. I will prescribe regimen for the good of my practice according to my patients' third party coverage or remaining Medicaid stickers, taking care not to perform nonreimbursable procedures. To please no one, with the possible exception of favored detail men, will I prescribe a non-FDA approved drug unless it should be essential to one of my clinical research projects; nor will I give advice which may cause my patient's death prior to obtaining a flat EEG for 24 hours. But I will preserve the purity of my reputation. In every clinical situation, I will cover my ass by ordering all conceivable labwork and by documenting my every move in the chart. I will faithfully accumulate 25 Category I CME credits per year, and none of these by attending Sports Medicine conferences on the slopes of Aspen. I will not cut for stone, even for patients in whom the disease is manifest, before documenting the diagnosis by I.V. or retrograde pyelogram and obtaining informed consent. In every house where I come I will enter only if a housecall is absolutely unavoidable, keeping myself far from all intentional ill-doing and all seduction, and especially free from the the pleasures of love with women or with men. Or, for that matter, with both simultaneously. Such activities I will confine to my office or yacht. I will not be induced to testify against my colleagues in court, nor to disagree with them when asked for a second opinion. I will not charge less for any procedure than the prevailing rate in my community. All that may come to my knowledge in the exercise of my profession, such as diagnoses, prognoses, details of treatment, and fee schedules, I will keep secret and never reveal to patients; I will, however, cheerfully provide these to insurance companies. Finally, under no circumstances will I vote for Ted Kennedy or anyone else of his ilk. If I keep this oath faithfully, may I enjoy my life, build my practice, incorporate, find some solid tax shelters, and ultimately make a killing in real estate; but if I swerve from it or violate it, may a profusion of malpractice claims be my lot.

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