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Anales de la Facultad de Ciencias Médicas (Asunción)

Print version ISSN 1816-8949


NOLDIN CACERES, Christian Alberto. Symbology in Medicine and Health Sciences. An. Fac. Cienc. Méd. (Asunción) [online]. 2019, vol.52, n.1, pp.43-58. ISSN 1816-8949.


The curricular inclusion of the history of medicine is becoming more and more important, and within it the study of symbology in medicine is a very interesting and sometimes controversial subject. The symbols associated with medicine usually present snakes associated with them, the most recognized being the rod of Asclepius/ Aesculapius and the Hermes/Mercury caduceus. Snakes are associated with positive and negative considerations in the different cultures of the world. In Ancient Egypt they were symbols of wisdom and power. In the Bible they had a dual role and a participation in at least one event related to massive healings. Greek mythology provides us with elements that connect snakes coiled around a branch or rod directly to medicine. The treatment of dracunculiasis gives us another way of connection between this image and medicine. The rod of Asclepius/ Aesculapius is recognized as a symbol of medicine and health sciences in general, while the caduceus is associated with other non-medical professions.

Keywords : Symbology; Snake; Mythology; Asclepius/Aesculapius; Caduceus; Dracunculiasis..

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