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Medical Symbol

The caduceus is known to be the staff that is carried by Hermes Trismegistus. It is also known from Greco-Egyptian mythology as well as from the Greek one. It is a short staff entwined by two serpents. Sometimes, it may be also surmounted by wings. It was often depicted being carried in the left hand of Mercury in Roman iconography. Mercury was known to be the guide of the dead, the messenger of the gods as well as the protector of shepherds, merchants, gamblers, thieves, and liars.

Being a symbolic object, caduceus represents Hermes (sometimes — the Roman Mercury), and by extension trades, undertakings or occupations associated with the god. The caduceus also provided the basis for the astrological symbol that was representing the planet Mercury. Although it is widely used in astronomy, astrology, and alchemy, it has come to denote the elemental metal and the planet of the same name.

The caduceus may be also used as a symbol of negotiation and commerce. It is known to be two realms in which balanced reciprocity and exchange are recognized as ideals. The mentioned association is ancient, being used from the Classical period up to modern times. The caduceus may be also used as a symbol for representing the printing by extension of the attributes of Mercury as it was already mentioned before.

The caduceus may often be used as a symbol of healthcare organizations and medical practice, particularly in North America. The two-snake caduceus design has consistent ancient associations with trade, negotiation, eloquence, as well as wisdom and alchemy, that is why the modern use of the caduceus as a symbol of medicine established in the United States.

The mentioned symbol is used for drawing out long bodied inter muscular parasitic worms by wrapping them slowly around the twig. It has also been argued that the wand or staff entwined by two snakes represented a god in the pre-anthropomorphic era.

Medical Symbol *

179 Medical Symbols in ConceptDraw DIAGRAM

Lewis Richard Farnell assumed in his study of the cult of Hermes that the two snakes had simply developed out of ornaments of the shepherd's crook used by heralds as their staff. Such view has been rejected by later authors mentioning there is a parallel iconography in the Ancient Near East.

In some of the ancient vase paintings, depictions of the Greek kerukeion are somewhat different from the commonly seen modern representations. The reason of it is that they feature the two snakes atop the (or the staff), crossing each other in order to create a circle with the heads of the snakes that may resemble the horns.

At the same time, the Rod of Asclepius is more known to be the traditional medical symbol, having only one snake, never being depicted with wings. The Rod of Asclepius may be also known as the Staff of Asclepius (sometimes spelled “Aesculapius” or “Asklepios”). Thus, same as the asklepian is known to be a serpent-entwined rod wielded by the Greek god Asclepius, a deity may be associated with medicine and healing. Nowadays, this symbol is still used, being associated with healthcare and medicine.

There are many other medical symbols, such as a red cross one which represents The American Red Cross (also known as the American National Red Cross) humanitarian organization that provides disaster relief, education and emergency assistance in the United States. Being the designated US affiliate of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and the United States movement to the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, it offers different services and development programs.

ARC was established in Washington by Clara Barton in 1881. Being its first president, Barton organized a meeting the same year at the home of Omar D. Conger (Senator) inviting fifteen people, including Conger and William Lawrence (Representative who became the first vice-president). The first local chapter was established at the English Evangelical Lutheran Church of Dansville in 1881 at Dansville, New York. Jane Delano later founded the American Red Cross Nursing Service (on January 20, 1910).

Barton could not manage to build up a staff she trusted. She was forced out in 1904 when professional social work experts took control, making the group a model of the so-called Progressive Era scientific reform. Mabel Thorp Boardman became a new leader consulted with military officers, social workers, financiers and senior government officials.

America Red Cross has a red cross symbol associated with this organization all over the world being a nationwide network of more than 36 blood service and 650 chapters regions. There are about 500,000 volunteers working for Red Cross, including AmeriCorps and FemaCorps members. Also, there are about 30,000 employees that are known to be mobilizing the relief to people who are affected by more than 67,000 disasters. They work on training almost 12 million people in all the necessary medical skills and exchange more than a million emergency messages for military service personnel in the USA as well as their family members.

Bowl of Hygieia is another popular medical symbol. Hygieia was the Greek goddess of Health hygiene. Asclepius' symbol is his rod, with a snake twined around it. Hygieia's symbol is a cup or chalice with a snake twined around its stem and poised above it which has been used as a symbol of the pharmacy profession at least since 1796 when it was used on a coin minted for the Parisian Society of Pharmacy.

Medical Symbols

Illustrations using Medical Symbols

The bowl of Hygieia is a common symbol on signs outside of pharmacies in Europe, at the same time a mortar and pestle is a more common symbol in the United States, but no matter which of these symbols are needed to complete some professionally-looking drawing, they all can be found in the medical solutions from the ConceptDraw STORE application. Use the Medical Illustrations solution while working in the ConceptDraw DIAGRAM diagramming and drawing software for creating the great-looking medicine-related drawings.


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