Monday, February 11, 2013

"Life is Short, the Art is Long, The Opportunity Fleeting"....Soraya's Hippocratic Oath Gift --- Explained!

As I shared on my Saturday blog post, I received a generous gift from Soraya, a young lady from Charleston, SC that  I helped correct a fairly severe double curve scoliosis a year ago.  Soraya is a Greek scholar, and had a special granite carving made, which she explains in her email that I received today.

Thanks again Soraya!  Hope to see you in Charleston sometime soon!
Dr. Lloyd Hey -- Hey Clinic for Scoliosis and Spine Surgery -

Dear Dr. Hey,

Thank you for your email.  You are very welcome.  I think I mentioned it while I was at your office, but I got the idea from an exhibit I saw on ancient medicine in Greco-Roman times.  Part of the exhibit was a display of surgical tools and other methods used to treat various ailments during the time.  Kevin and I were amazed how far medicine has come from then.  I thought the disease was probably better than the cure!  I was grateful to live in our modern time where people like me could be helped and was thankful you were there to do it! I've attached some pictures that I took of the exhibit.  I think you might find them interesting (the bone saw just completely floored me).  Just so you have it in writing, below is the translation of the engraving:

(What's around the snake):  "Life is short, the art is long, the opportunity fleeting" (the last part can be translated in a number of different ways, I prefer this one).

Hippocratic Oath: "So long as I continue to keep this oath faithfully, and do not violate it, may it be granted to me to enjoy life and the practice of the art, respected by all men for all time."
I find the word the ancient greeks referred to the practice of medicine very interesting - tekne which is usually translated as 'art' but also means skill or craft, akin to the derivative word technical in English.  I like how they thought of medicine as an art as much as a skill.  

Now in addition to being a spine surgeon and a pilot, you can say you know some ancient greek :) 

Thank you again for all you have done for me.  I'll always be grateful.

Take care,

PS You should definitely visit Charleston other than dropping off patients!  It's a beautiful city, though I am partial.  I think you and your wife would enjoy it if you haven't been already.

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