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The Veterinarian's Oath was a disappointment to me. When I first read it as a freshman, I suppose I was expecting something along the lines of the Hippocratic Oath; instead I was struck by the contrast to it-by the lack of eloquence, of poetry, of ancient power. As impressionable as I was then, a whole year and a half ago, it left me unmoved. Now, having had my eyes opened to its more troubling ethical difficulties, I feel the desire to create something better, something that is at least more meaningful to me. As an individual, particularly without extensive dialogue with my peers, I can't even pretend to create an oath suitable for all veterinary graduates for all time to come. This is, at best, my endeavor to write an oath which in the very writing can help clarify and define for me my moral stand, which will challenge me to be true to that stand, and to which I can honestly and earnestly hold myself responsible.


Reprinted with permission from Intervet, October 1984.