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The Hypocrite's Oath

Written by David Jones · Thursday 7th March 2013

A medical student reflects on exams: the pressure to perform, and the temptation to cheat

(original post here)

New and naive the journey begins,

Forsaking folly for study and service, To "make the world a better place",

To "alleviate suffering" to "give hope".

The public trust, respect, maybe even revere us.

They offer us their arms for a third attempt,

They bleed and bruise so we can learn,

Enduring pain for our practice.

They think our vocation "the noblest of professions".

Their trust they freely offer,

We snatch it, thinking ourselves worthy,

Considering ourselves men of noble blood,

Trustworthy, moral and virtuous beings.

Hours, days, years invested in books,

Given in worship to the acquisition of knowledge.

On wards we arrive in dress rehearsal,

Regurgitating information at the whim of the gods.

We desire their glory and brilliance,

Panting for success, respect, power, control,

Nothing terrifies more than failure,

Exams loom incessantly...

Offers of assistance entice.

Tantalising tip-offs tempt,

Some sharpen skills whilst others sully their souls.

Time to swear the Hypocrite's Oath.