The Symbol of Modern Medicine: Why One Snake Is More Than Two*

  title={The Symbol of Modern Medicine: Why One Snake Is More Than Two*},
  author={Robert A. Wilcox and Emma M. Whitham},
  journal={Annals of Internal Medicine},
Western culture demands integrity, personal sacrifice, and compassion from its physician healers. This powerful social expectation predates Christianity and has its origins in the heroic and mythologic traditions of ancient Greece. The heroic, and later mythical, figure of Asklepios was a major focus of ancient Greco-Roman medical tradition from perhaps as early as 1200 BC (1, 2) until 500 AD (3-14). The mortal herophysician Asklepios, mentioned in Homer's Iliad, exemplified the ideal Greek… 
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