Declaration of Geneva

Declaration of Geneva
October 14, 2017

Dr Sam Hazledine on changing the Declaration of Geneva.

“I WILL ATTEND TO my own health, well-being, and abilities in order to provide care of the highest standard.”

One sentence. Eighteen words. And I was elated to hear them. 

It was October 14, 2017, and I was at the back of the conference room in Chicago. In front of me, the entire delegation of the World Medical Association was standing and, for the first time, saying these words in unison. 

We’d done it.  

It was a pivotal moment in the evolution of our profession; doctors standing shoulder to shoulder to make us better together. 

It felt surreal for the team and me, who had worked for years to add this amendment to the WMA Declaration of Geneva, the modern-day Hippocratic Oath. 

Finally, as doctors at the highest levels, we acknowledge the importance of our health. Our profession was evolving. 


A journey towards a healthy change 

I don’t think any of us set out to change our profession. Personally, I just wanted to graduate med school and become a doctor.  

However, it didn’t take long for me to realise this was no ordinary job. No amount of smarts or talent can prepare you or protect you.  

I remember arriving home as an intern, shattered, with only one thought left in my head: 

“This is the hardest bloody thing I’ve ever done.” 

Later, I would realise this moment would lead me to those eighteen words and our team creating Medworld. 

Simply put, to do the superhuman job of a doctor, we must look after the human doing it. 

There’s no job like it 

Great doctors possess an endless reserve of human kindness and compassion in the face of untold challenges.  

 As Adam Kay says in his book This Is Going to Hurt: The Secret Diaries of a Junior Doctor: 

 “The hours are terrible, the pay is terrible, the conditions are terrible; you’re underappreciated, unsupported, disrespected and frequently physically endangered. But there’s no better job in the world.” 

“The difference is obviously the whole ‘life and death’ thing, which separates this job from all others and makes it so unfathomable to people on the outside.” 

We need to be honest about this because those endless reserves can run dry, and lives literally depend on the well-being of doctors.  

The birth of Medenterprises  

We created Medenterprises and its subsidiaries (Medworld and Medrecruit) with a simple idea: to advance the health of medicine through medical staffing

Medworld exists for the wellbeing of the medical profession and every doctor. We need to heal from within to become better together as a profession. 

We dedicate our lives to the wellbeing of others and often end up sacrificing our own in the process, and that's not noble, it's just reckless. 

Doctor burnout is real. Its consequences are real, too: depersonalisation, poor patient care, and strained personal lives. 

We’re called ‘doctors’, but we’re fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, sons, daughters, husbands and wives. We need to remember that. We need to embrace that. 

Looking after ourselves and the quality of our lives is essential to looking after everyone else's lives in our community. 

People in need, people who are hurt, people who need our help to heal. People might face the most difficult and terrifying challenge in their lives. We’re their hope. We’re their guide. We’re the hand they hold when all hope is lost. They are counting on us. 

We all know this, we've seen this, we see it every day, and we know we need to evolve. We must do a better job of looking after each other. 

Let’s be better together.

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Lobbying the World Medical Association
Mar 11, 2016
Lobbying the World Medical Association

Medenterprises’ founder lobbies World Medical Association for oath change.