Hippocrates was convinced of the importance and necessity of high standards of ethics when exercising medicine. That’s why he devoted a lot of his work to giving advice, counsel and guidance. Among the most important ethical values he promoted, were the following:
Conscientiousness: a physician should be consistent with his obligations and duties, conscientious and without vested interests. In the Hippocratic oath, the physician who does not act with professional dedication loses his status and is thereby cursed.
Philanthropy: a physician has to feel the need to help his fellow man and feel love and empathy for him. He is also be humble, honest and benevolent.
Disinterest: a physician must not be concerned about his remuneration and must not seek wealth when curing his patients. If they are poor, he should provide his services for free.
Justice: a physician has to be just and honest towards his fellow men. He has to respect and treat each patient equally, regardless of gender or social status.
Abstinence: a physician should not exploit his position and be tempted. He has to respect the trust and devotion of his patients, especially the female gender.
Modesty and self-awareness: a physician doesn’t know everything, is open to mistakes. Making the right judgment is not always easy and a physician can only offer services up to his own limitations. Modesty and prudence show the path towards truth, not arrogance.
Mutual respect: a physician has to show mutual respect to each other, within a spirit of cooperation.
Prudence: a physician has to be very careful and cautious when diagnosing his patient and establishing a cure. He has to be tolerant and patient with his patients.
Pleasant: a physician should always be affable, amiable, polite and pleasant, gentle and good-humoured. He has to be careful how he treats his patients. His appearance is important: he should be clean and simple, without luxury or pretence.
Willingness and diligence: a physician must be ready to willingly deal with urgent medical cases. He has to visit his patients regularly and show real interest
Confidentiality: a physician may learn his family, social or political issues that he cannot reveal. He is also aware of some of their patients’ secrets and must not disclose them. Confidentiality in medicine is very important and cannot be violated. That is the main reason why the hippocratic oath was adopted.
Knowledge: a physician must acquire a lot of knowledge in order to examine and assess correctly his patients. Knowledge is an ongoing process towards perfection, through learning, observing and thinking.
Optimism: a physician shouldn’t be taken aback by failures or mistakes. He must be confident that science and therapeutic methods are constantly geting better.