Physicians: about the Hippocratic Oath

In the above Pit thread a doctor who allegedly tried to hurt bycyclists with his car, is being trashed as violating the Hippocratic Oath to “do no harm”

My question is, is taking the Oath a requirement for physicians? If so, how is it modified for present day usage? I mean, I don’t think contemporary doctors are going to swear by the names of the old Greek gods, or agree to teach for free the students of their own teachers.

The hippocratic oath did get modernized over the centuries. However, the oath is not legally binding in any way, and is not mandatory either.

Thank you** Kobal2**. That’s a pretty interesting article.

As noted, there’s no legal significance to the Oath, and many graduating physicians don’t subscribe to it (at my school we used one of the alternate versions of a creed/good intentions). Though there’s something cool about swearing to Apollo, Aesculapius et al.*

As the linked text indicates, the original Hippocratic Oath was all about ethical considerations arising in connection with one’s craft, and not about avoiding criminal acts that have nothing to do with being a physician. For example, Hippocrates did not find it necessary to point out that one should not embezzle, set arson fires, commit murder or suddenly stop one’s horse-drawn cart in such a way as to harm pedestrians (I don’t think they had bicyclists in those days).
*I wonder how many schools stopped using the original Oath in part because there were objections to swearing to “pagan” gods.

Doesn’t the oath proscribe prescribing an abortifacient?