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Editor's Commentary on 'Ode to the Oath'

 , October 16, 2015

In the world of our profession, at times so steeped in tradition as to feel ossified, so graded in its trainee hierarchy as to feel martial, Joseph Allencherril’s “Ode to the Oath” is a breath of fresh air. Filled with spark and spunk, the poem’s language surprises and delights with its satire. Drawing on the best of this tradition, Allencherril, a student at the Baylor College of Medicine, poses in an olde Romantic Ode –  something Osler himself might have kept on his bedside table. Within this form, irreverent jabs at the white mantel and snowy-haired establishment sit alongside the kernel of truth at the center of all great satire. Here, it is the very real concern of every dedicated trainee – that we may have the strength, skills, and knowledge to properly care for the sick, and that we live up to the accomplishments of those who have come before us, whose molds we both aim to break and honor, whose “pages left to us” are the very core of our formation as young doctors.

Benji Perin