Academic Medicine:
Teaching and Learning Moments

A TEACHER'S OATH

Heiderscheidt, Paul MD

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Dr. Heiderscheidt was assistant professor of Family Medicine, Cascades East Family Practice Residency, Klamath Falls, Oregon. He is currently commissioned officer, U.S. Public Health Service, stationed in Micronesia.

1. I will consider dear to me those who have taught me the art of teaching, as well as my peers engaged in the endeavors of teaching, as they are worthy of respect. I will also respect students, as it is an honor to be trusted by them to impart the knowledge they seek.

2. I will seek to constantly improve my skills as a teacher. I am also obligated to teach the art of teaching to those who require this skill in the course of their profession.

3. I will teach those who seek to learn from me according to my ability and judgment. I will strive to keep current on my knowledge of the subject I teach. Never will I presume to teach that which I do not know.

4. I will not use my position as teacher to influence a student towards any purpose but learning.

5. In every situation where I am called upon to teach I will do so only for the good of my students through exercising compassion, aspiring to truth, and keeping myself far from all intentional ill-doing.

6. I will use all reasonable means at my disposal to assist a student's learning. If I am unable, for any reason, to meet the learning needs of a student, I will make every attempt to place that student under the supervision of a teacher more suitable to that student's needs.

7. If I suspect that a student is incapable of learning that which I am trying to teach, I will exercise diligence in confirming this assessment. If it becomes clear that a student is trying to learn something beyond their grasp, I will compassionately cease educating that student and support the student's endeavors elsewhere.

8. I will not use my position as teacher to exploit students for my personal gain.

9. If ever I am unable to follow these teaching tenets, I will remove myself from my position as teacher.

© 2003 Association of American Medical Colleges

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