Oath of Maimonides

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The Oath of Maimonides is a traditional oath for physicians attributed to Maimonides. It is not to be confused with the more lengthy Prayer of Maimonides.

It is often used as an alternative to the Hippocratic Oath.

The oath[edit]

"The eternal providence has appointed me to watch over the life and health of Thy creatures. May the love for my art actuate me at all times; may neither avarice nor miserliness, nor thirst for glory or for a great reputation engage my mind; for the enemies of truth and philanthropy could easily deceive me and make me forgetful of my lofty aim of doing good to Thy children.

May I never see in the patient anything but a fellow creature in pain.

Grant me the strength, time and opportunity always to correct what I have acquired, always to extend its domain; for knowledge is immense and the spirit of man can extend indefinitely to enrich itself daily with new requirements. Today he can discover his errors of yesterday and tomorrow he can obtain a new light on what he thinks himself sure of today.

Oh, God, Thou has appointed me to watch over the life and death of Thy creatures; here am I ready for my vocation and now I turn unto my calling."[1]

History and authorship[edit]

The oath was first published in 1783 in German. Evidence "overwhelmingly" supports the assertion that the prayer was actually written not by Maimonides, but by German Jewish doctor Markus Herz or a contemporary.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ S. Y. Tan; M. E. Yeow (2002). "Moses Maimonides (1135-1204): Rabbi, Philosopher. Physician" (PDF). Singapore Med J. Retrieved 24 March 2012.
  2. ^ The Physician's Prayer Attributed to Moses Maimonides, Fred Rosner, 1967