Definition of Doctors' symbol

Reviewed on 3/29/2021

Doctors' symbol:  A staff or rod with a snake curled  around it.  This is the Rod of Aesculapius (also called Asklepios), the ancient mythical god of medicine.  Asklepios may have been a real person who was renowned for his gentle remedies and humane treatment of the mentally ill. Today, the staff of Aesculapius is a commonly used symbol of medicine.  It is the symbol of the American Medical Association (AMA) and many other  medical societies.

 A similar symbol, the caduceus, was the staff of the Greek god Hermes.  The caduceus is usually depicted with two snakes and a pair of wings and is often used mistakenly as a symbol of medicine.

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