Hippocrates Oath - Why Ethics in Medicine Matter

Real Estate Agent with DFW FINE PROPERTIES 0506509

Photo Journalism by Patricia Feager

"The Hippocratic Oath is an oath of ethics historically taken by physicians."

The quote, "The life so short, the craft so long to learn," caught my attention. As soon as I learned a class was available last week entitled "Why Ethics Matters in Physician-Patient Interactions," I just knew, I had to learn more. Next to the topic of real estate, people also like to talk about their medical issues. 

Last week, I learned that a resident of Flower Mound, a woman's spouse from my bookclub passed away. All he did was go to McDonald's. As he walked out the door, in Lewisville, a truck tragically backed up too fast and killed him instantly. I was dumbstruck because inside my phone, a short time before, I snapped a picture of a slide from class and learned the meaning behind the quote pictured in blue:

"Life is transient, fleeting, and capable of slipping through our fingers in the blink of an eye. Yet, the path to truly mastering a skill or craft is often arduous, time-consuming, and requires a deep level of commitment."

The value of time

My time was well spent in class with Dr. Robert Pryor, M.D., MBA, who was a practicing intensive care specialist, teacher, and researcher, a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American College of Chest Physicians and the American College of Critical Care Physicians, also retired President, Chief Operating Officer, and Chief Medical officer of Baylor Scott and White Health system. During the sessions I gained insights into a world I am not a part of; yet my life depends on. 


A physician takes an oath. I am not a physician. But there is morality that is similar to a real estate agent when they take the Oath to practice real estate. Some of which are:

  • Respect all people.
  • To not permit consideration of age, disability, creed, ethnic origin, gender, nationality, political affiliation, race, sexual orientation, social standing, or any other factor to intervene between duty and those served.
  • Maintain confidentiality.
  • Practice professionalism; stay in your own lane.
  • Perform certain duties.
  • Share knowledge.
  • Provide care of the highest standard.

There is a difference in being a real estate agent or a REALTOR® who is held to a higher standard. All licensed REALTORS® in TEXAS, must take Legal & Ethics as a requirement to get licensed; then every two years, plus additional hours and fees for license renewal. I was curious to learn how ethics in the Medical field compares between doctor - patient and REALTOR® - client. It was very insightful and educational! The Doctor taught the class how to think through clinical problems. Instantly, I knew how important it is to walk my clients through the process in real estate. Their success in closing or not closing and funding depends on it.

Something in common

One thing the Doctor said that really hit home is this: We have become a society where people go to the Internet to find answers to questions. The problem with that is, there are no standards of ethics on the Internet. And that is something we should all remember. Anyone with a license is held to a higher standard in Ethics. 


P.S. For this blog post, Plagiarism and Artificial Intelligence (AI) is not allowed. 

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MBA (University of Dallas)
(Bachelors of Arts & Science)
Paralegal (Southeastern Career Institute)
Associates (3) (College of Lake County)
KU (University of Kansas)


CRS (Certified Residential Specialist)
SRES (Certified Senior Residential Specialist)
PSA (Certified Pricing Strategies; Mastering the CMA)
CRS (Certified Military Relocation Specialist)
RENE (Real Estte Negotitions Expert)

"With self-discipline most anything is possible." --- Theodore Roosevelt 






Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

With another person‘s life in our hands, it’s catastrophic to everything about anything but health when treating someone

Jul 07, 2024 11:26 PM
Patricia Feager, ABR,CRS,GRI,MRP

Laura Cerrano - we all need to educated on health, not just when we are sick. Choosing the right doctor makes all the difference,

Jul 09, 2024 04:59 AM
Debra Leisek
Bay Realty,Inc Homer Alaska - Homer, AK

Life is short and can ended in a blink of an eye.  we think we are invincible, but we are not. Thank you Patricia Feager, ABR,CRS,GRI,MRP  for another meaningful conversation. You run deep, my friend!

Jul 08, 2024 12:03 AM
Patricia Feager, ABR,CRS,GRI,MRP

Debra Leisek - a blink is quick. You're right. We are not invincible. May you stay healthy and have a prosperous business. 

Thank you, my friend!

Jul 08, 2024 01:20 PM
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Oswego, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Good morning Patricia. Learning is a process and not a destination. Few follow the process and focus on the destination. Until they change their line of thinking any Oath is only a group of words. Enjoy your day.

Jul 08, 2024 04:44 AM
Patricia Feager, ABR,CRS,GRI,MRP

Wayne Martin - thank you for sharing your wisdom over your many years of real estate experience. 

Jul 08, 2024 01:20 PM
Kat Palmiotti
eXp Commercial, Referral Divison - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

Oh yes, life is fleeting. Anthony and I were just talking about this recently - one day we're here, and one day we're not. As for the medical profession, yes, doctors are held to an ethical standard as are REALTORS® and in both cases, most follow the ethical guidelines.

Enjoy your day!!!

PS - you sent me seeds last year and I finally tried the turnips this year - tonight we will be eating a turnip side dish that is a result of those seeds (I've never had a turnip in my life so we'll see how it tastes!!!). Thank you

Jul 08, 2024 04:50 AM
Patricia Feager, ABR,CRS,GRI,MRP

Hi Kat Palmiotti! So glad to hear you tried the turnips this year. The only thing I know how to use them is peel them, cut them, and add them to my homemade soup. It doesn't taste like much but it's very nutritious, good, and healthy. Believe it or not, I was inspired by turnips from reading kid storybooks when I was a kid and then later on reading to them about why they should eat their turnips - Ha-Ha! If I remember right, I think they attracted bunnies too, but I can't say for sure. 

PLEASE! Let me know how your dinner turns out!

Jul 08, 2024 07:49 AM
Kat Palmiotti

I will Patricia Feager, ABR,CRS,GRI,MRP 

Jul 08, 2024 08:46 AM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

Good morning, Patricia... at least in our profession it's not a question of life or death. In both, knowledge and experience are mandatory.

Jul 08, 2024 04:53 AM
Patricia Feager, ABR,CRS,GRI,MRP

Nina Hollander, Broker - the only analogy I can draw between our profession and doctors is agents can sure kill a deal if they don't know what they're doing! 

Isn't that the truth! The best agents I've ever worked with are the long-term experienced agents who are ethical. 

Jul 08, 2024 07:52 AM
Patricia Feager, ABR,CRS,GRI,MRP

Nina Hollander, Broker - "Unlike you?" that's not true. I have worked with both ethical and unethical agents. The best agents I worked with had morality and ethics who were experienced. That test came during 2008 during short sales and foreclosures. 

Jul 08, 2024 08:17 AM
Nina Hollander, Broker

Patricia Feager, ABR,CRS,GRI,MRP good one, Patricia! But unlike, you, I've worked with experienced agents who have proven themselves less than ethical. I've long said that either you're ethical or not... doesn't matter if your new or not, if your a Realtor or not.

Jul 08, 2024 08:04 AM
Nina Hollander, Broker

Patricia Feager, ABR,CRS,GRI,MRP I was referring to your comment  "The best agents I've ever worked with are the long-term experienced agents who are ethical." Possibly, I misread it. Of course, the best agents to work with are those with experience and who are ethical. I read it more narrowly that the experienced agents are the ethical ones. Sorry about that.

Jul 08, 2024 08:20 AM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Pasadena And Southern California 818.516.4393

Hello Patricia - there is an aspect of the comment by Nina Hollander, Broker that is important, death is a difference that separates all sorts of things.  This is another ponder-worthy post.  

Jul 08, 2024 07:50 AM
Patricia Feager, ABR,CRS,GRI,MRP

Michael Jacobs - just minutes before, I replied to Nina referencing my analogy that agents can kill a deal! Yes. This is very, very ponder worthy. 

Jul 08, 2024 07:55 AM
Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Realty ONE Group Advocates 484-237-2055 - Downingtown, PA
Selling the Main Line & Chester County

An interesting class, and well done cross applying it to real estate. 

Jul 08, 2024 08:09 AM
Patricia Feager, ABR,CRS,GRI,MRP

Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543 - Morality and ethics is a big deal! 

Thank you!

Jul 08, 2024 01:22 PM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones

Good morning Patricia, 

I've heard this comparison before (doctors and agents) and there is a lot of truth in it because of the license requirements but I have to admit Nina Hollander, Broker has a point with the fact that at least in our profession it's not a question of life or death. We are professionals and like tax accountants and many other professions their is continuing education involved and a higher standard. Many are going to the Internet when they have a question and its not the most reliable source.

Jul 08, 2024 08:43 AM
Patricia Feager, ABR,CRS,GRI,MRP

Dorie Dillard Austin TX - When one takes an oath, it has to be a promise to do no harm. Many deals are killed because of incompetency.

Jul 09, 2024 05:00 AM
George Souto
George Souto NMLS #65149 - Middletown, CT
Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert

Patricia I cringe at the number of close calls I have had in my life.  I might not be here if if just one of them had a different result.

Jul 08, 2024 01:18 PM
Patricia Feager, ABR,CRS,GRI,MRP

George Souto - your honesty is commendable. Maintaining professionalism is what we all want from our physicians.

In the real estate world, respect, honesty, professionalism, and ethical behavior earns the client's trust. 

Thank you for your comment. 

Jul 08, 2024 01:25 PM
Anna "Banana" Kruchten
HomeSmart Real Estate - Phoenix, AZ

Wow Patricia in all the years I've been in real estate it never crossed my mind that their are a lot of similarities of being an agent to be a doctor as you've well pointed out.  What an interesting class!  This past 6 months I've had a lot of contact with doctors and there are some really good ones, and then some that are, well not so much.  Hmmm sounds familiar, doesn't it. I prefer the ones that tell it to you straight, no dancing around the facts and they're good at putting together a plan to get things back on track. I also learned that one must be proactive and speak ones mind. I got very good at that and they responded well to it. At first I wasn't, and it was a disaster and I could easily not be here today. Thankfully my husband pulled out all the stops and got me out of that place. We learned many lessons. Ones I never imagined I'd need but then again, as you shared with us, things can happen at any time. You just never know...

Jul 08, 2024 05:02 PM
Patricia Feager, ABR,CRS,GRI,MRP

Hello Anna "Banana" Kruchten - It was an amazing class! You would have loved it. As you said, and the Doctor did too, "there are some really good ones, and then some that are, well not so much." The Doc gave us a link to search Texas Doctors and learn a whole lot more than just a bio you would find on a Google Search. The website he provided was from the Texas Medical Board Web Site. OMGoodness! I learned that the first physician I chose when I moved to TX was Top Notch! But when I had to choose someone for Medicare, that's when it got very interesting, sad, pathetic, and to date, that search continues. The one I had a long history with does not take patients on Medicare. So I had to switch and find switch and find and the switch continues. He even pulled up to illustrate Dr. Death, a real doctor from Plano, TX. His name is Christopher Daniel Duntsch. Look him up. Dr. Death is serving prison sentence for 33 incidence of malpractice! It's a shocking story of a madman with a scapel. Lesson learned, patients have to do their own due dilligence and research!  

Some of the best advice/notes I took about Ethics were as follows (see next comment box below).

Jul 08, 2024 06:17 PM
Patricia Feager, ABR,CRS,GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Anna "Banana" Kruchten 
1) Autonomy - Respect patient self-determination . Patients have a right to accept/reject recommendations for medical care if they have appropriate decision-making capacitiy.

2) Beneficence - Doing what is best for the patient. Definition of 'what is best' may derive from the patient's wishes (autonomy).

3) Non-Maleficence - Primum non nocere - "First, do no harm." Physicians are fallable, we are equally capable of harming as we are helping our patients.

4) Justice - Fair allocation of resources. Patients in similar situations should have access to the same care.

FYI.. My first Medicare doctor never made me comfortable. After Covid, I received a letter from her saying she quit the profession, moved to FL, and I should find another doctor.  



Jul 08, 2024 06:23 PM
Buzz Mackintosh
Mackintosh REALTORS - Frederick, MD
“Experience, reliable, leadership”

I remember making an analogy between a Doctor and Real Estate agent's ethics years ago when my Wife was diagnosed with breast cancer. Our first appointment we met with an oncologist and we were sitting in the room with him he kept answering his cell phone and not giving us his undivided attention. I mentioned to my Wife this guy is like a bad real estate agent, He was easily ruled out of the team of Doctors that successfully treated my Wife.

Jul 09, 2024 04:28 AM
Patricia Feager, ABR,CRS,GRI,MRP

Buzz Mackintosh - Learning a loved one has cancer requires strength and courage. What the oncologist did to you and your wife was rude, discourteous, and disrespectful. Neither one of you deserved to be treated like that. Thank goodness you recognized negligence before the physician started treating your wife. You have a lot of reasons to be thankful you both had the courage to rule out the bad doctor so that successful treatment could begin. 


Jul 09, 2024 05:04 AM
Michael Elliott
Fathom Realty - Burlington Township, NJ
Burlington, New Jersey Residential Sales

Wow, life is precious, and some great quotes there.  I have been blessed with (mostly) great doctors.  

Jul 09, 2024 07:18 AM
Patricia Feager, ABR,CRS,GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Michael Elliott - your comments are always welcoming. Being established in a community where there are great doctors is a blessing!

Stay healthy and enjoy life to the fullest!

Jul 09, 2024 07:41 AM
Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573
Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker

Experience with doctors is nil but know someday parts will be wearing out and "tune ups" will be needed. Exercise, take care of the temple and so much is in your thinking. Avoid stinking thinking and count your blessings Patricia Feager, ABR,CRS,GRI,MRP !

Great post to make sure whatever you do has integrity. Rotary pledge of is it fair, is it the truth, will it build goodwill and understanding etc applies more than ever today!

Jul 09, 2024 09:03 AM
Patricia Feager, ABR,CRS,GRI,MRP

Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573 - our world needs more ethical behavior in every part of the world. It was a very educational class from someone well known for his integrity and years of commitment to DFW in Texas. 

Jul 09, 2024 07:31 PM
John Henry, Florida Architect
John Henry Masterworks Design International, Inc. - Orlando, FL
Residential Architect, Luxury Custom Home Design

Wonderful reminder on the fragility and so very special gift of life, and of the professionalism that most service professions need to keep in mind.  Thank you very much, Patricia!

Jul 09, 2024 09:29 AM
Patricia Feager, ABR,CRS,GRI,MRP

John Henry, Florida Architect - This was an amazing opportunity I couldn't decline. Plus, it was my first class taught by a prominent Physician. He talked for an hour and a half. He led me to understand more about the role of a Physician and what to expect between physician-patient interactions. Plus he stressed how important ethics is for every professional. 

When I received the email from my book club about one of our member's whose husband died tragically at McDonald, it hit me hard. As you say, a "wonderful reminder on the fragility" of life and to not take anyone, anything, or any day for granted. 

Thank you, so much for your comment that meant so much. 

Jul 09, 2024 07:44 PM
Steffy Hristova
HomeSmart Elite Group Tempe AZ Tel: 602.710.8161 - Tempe, AZ
Tempe AZ Realtor - Your Home Close to Your Work!

Patricia Feager, ABR,CRS,GRI,MRP , what a thought-provoking post. I have a memory from my childhood years of a poster with the Hippocrates oath in the doctor's office. I was curious what it meant and kept asking the doctor and my parents to explain.

Jul 09, 2024 02:54 PM
Patricia Feager, ABR,CRS,GRI,MRP

Hi Steffy Hristova - Isn't that something. You remembered a poster with the Hippocrates oath in your doctor's office since you were a child. Obviously, it left a lasting impression on you and now you know. You have a good memory!

I also have a memory of my doctor's office from when I was a child. I remember the waiting room - so quiet. The door to enter his office. The door inside his office where he mixed his own drugs like a pharmacist, and another door to exam a patient privately. Oh, and I remember I never left the office without a lollypop. But I don't remember anything like the Hippocrates oath on the wall. I do know, my parents kept him as our family doctor until he retired. 

I was glad to read your comment Steffy, and thankful you stopped by!

Jul 09, 2024 07:53 PM
Adam Feinberg
Elegran - Manhattan, NY
NYC Condo, Co-op, and Townhouse Advisor

Yeah life is fleeting and shouldn't be taken for granted. In late 2022 to early 2024 all of the members of my father's side of the family passed - including my father. That's 7 family members lost in a short time, but given that they were mid 70's to mid 80's- there were no surprises other than it was all within a short period. 

On the ethics side- NY state requires all agents to take an ethics course. Having worked in regulatory and compliance areas (and many other departments) of capital markets- you can't expect regulations to solve every problem. In NYC we operate under REBNY rules rather than NAR- so I don't see myself or my colleagues becoming Realtors anytime soon- as REBNY addresses our unique needs that NAR is not set up for. So the mantra that being a Realtor is held to a higher standard is just a very different experience- and the only Manhattan agents I know that are Realtors is because they also work outside of the city. 

As to Ethics- I am reminded of the bespoke ethics course I created for incoming Merrill Lynch Analysts into compliance areas. I designed a course where these new;ly minted Analysts would be on two teams at a time competing in a debate style activity on a variety of ethics issues. I incorporated some of our material from our CFA exam trainings- which has a substantial ethics component for the qualifier. I wanted these kids to debate all sorts of legal grey areas while understanding the ethical ramifications...and it didn't hurt that some of the material was already prepping some of our students for the CFA exam as well. The kids had a lot of fun, and left with a rich learning experience - and even got a little heated as everyone was arguing what the right course of action would be. My roll was to provide these kids with the correct ethical course of action for each scenario - and to explore their arguments - where there might be gaps in knowledge and experience. 

Jul 09, 2024 10:12 PM
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

There’s also something about that that care makes the world go around and makes us a little happier and a little friendlier and a little bit more communal:

Jul 09, 2024 11:58 PM
Patricia Feager, ABR,CRS,GRI,MRP

Laura Cerrano - Life is short. The amount of time people spend and pay for to look younger, feel better, develop skills to get a decent job, which may never happen, is very long and many people give up or quit because the "craft" is so long!

Jul 10, 2024 03:25 AM
Patricia Feager, ABR,CRS,GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Adam Feinberg - older age or not, to lose 7 members of a family in a very short period of time is almost unbearable to remaining loved ones. I am so sorry for your losses. Those were heavy burdens for all. Every life within the family unit counts. Handling estate issues for the deceased can take years of additional heartache. May you have strength and courage and be a constant support to remaining family members. I hope you all stay healthy. 

Adam, I greatly appreciate your wonderful comment regarding what you did for Myrl Lynch's Code of Ethics. I googled it and read every word. I was highly impressed by the language, so direct and clear and not too wordy for me to get lost. You did a GREAT job!

Previously I worked for Abbott Laboratories and there were Compliance and Regulatory, Legal and Ethics to know and understand for all employees too. When everyone knows and understands the rules and regulations, policies and procedures and abides by them, the public is safer too. 

On the ethics side for the State of NY it can get complicated. You're right. Every problem can't be solved and if it was, it would take up a lot of time and money. Does New York offer Mediation or Arbitration? Your response that NYC operates under "REBNY rules rather than NAR," is very interesting! Perhaps other states, like TX should look into something similar as an alternative to being members of NAR.

Thanks again, for your outstanding comment and willingness to share. Although I am not involved in AR's weekly Zoom classes, I could see this being a topic of interest that maybe the core group, like Debe Maxwell, CRS and George Souto would be interested in having you address to benefit the membership of ActiveRain. 

Thanks again. Adam. I appreciated your comment very much. May you and your family members remain healthy and supportive of each other. 

Jul 10, 2024 03:20 AM