Doctors, Don’t Gossip!

Hippocrates, On Decorum 7

“Everything that’s been said already is true: a doctor needs to have a certain appropriate manner, since austerity is offensive to the healthy and sick alike. Doctors should also watch themselves carefully and avoid revealing too much that is personal and gossiping with regular people, saying only what is needed.

Realize that gossip invites criticism of treatment. Doctors should do nothing that seems too fussy or showy. Figure out everything you need to do or use beforehand for each situation. If you don’t, something will always be missing when it is needed.”

VII. Ὄντων οὖν τοιούτων τῶν προειρημένων ἁπάντων, χρὴ τὸν ἰητρὸν ἔχειν τινὰ εὐτραπελίην παρακειμένην· τὸ γὰρ αὐστηρὸν δυσπρόσιτον καὶ τοῖσιν ὑγιαίνουσι καὶ τοῖσι νοσέουσιν. τηρεῖν δὲ χρὴ ἑωυτὸν ὅτι μάλιστα, μὴ πολλὰ φαίνοντα τῶν τοῦ σώματος μερέων, μηδὲ πολλὰ λεσχηνευόμενον τοῖσιν ἰδιώτῃσιν, ἀλλὰ τἀναγκαῖα· †νομίζει γὰρ τοῦτο βίη εἶναι ἐς πρόσκλησιν θεραπηίης.†2 ποιεῖν δὲ κάρτα μηδὲν περιέργως αὐτῶν, μηδὲ 10μετὰ φαντασίης· ἐσκέφθω δὲ ταῦτα πάντα, ὅκως ᾖ σοι προκατηρτισμένα ἐς τὴν εὐπορίην, ὡς δέοι· εἰ δὲ μή, ἐπὶ τοῦ χρέους ἀπορεῖν αἰεὶ δεῖ.

File:Illustration of medieval Arab doctor treating a patient by cauterizing a wound.jpeg
Illustration of medieval doctor treating a patient by cauterizing a wound.

Leave a Reply