Two symbolic figures from the ancient Near East embody the caring tradition in the professional community. The first is Hippocrates, the legendary father of medicine, who was born in 460 B.C. The second figure is that of the ideal shepherd who became the symbol of care in human relationships. There is something almost primordial about the image of shepherd and flock. Hippocrates founded medical practice upon a knowledge of the whole person; of the airs, waters, and places surrounding us, and the spiritual presence of divine things that “enter and quit the body” such as heat and cold, the sun, and the winds. The Hippocratic Oath rests care in the pledge by all physicians to follow a “system of regimen,” according to their ability and judgment, which they consider for the benefit of their patients, and to abstain from whatever is deleterious or mischievous.