Updated oath to be used today

The latest graduating University of Otago medical students will this morning recite for the first time an updated oath which includes an undertaking they will attend to their own health as well as that of their patients.

Otago University has its own oath, which draws on several sources, including the Hippocratic Oath, which is recited at a ceremony on the morning of graduation.

The latest Otago oath for graduating MBChB students incorporates several updates, including an undertaking  they will attend to their own health as well as that of the patient.

This self-protective provision was adopted into the Declaration of Geneva—the modern version of the Hippocratic Oath— by the World Medical Association last year.

This provision has been promoted by former Otago medical student  Dr Sam Hazledine in response to concerns about widespread burnout in the medical profession.

Last year Dr Hazledine, of Queenstown, successfully petitioned for a change to the Declaration of Geneva.

The petition was signed by more than 4500 Australasian doctors, and he said  a large US study showed 87% of doctors were stressed or suffering from burnout.

There was a consultation process over the updating of the Otago oath, and students will recite it for the first time today.

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