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The Rod of Asclepius is an ancient symbol associated with astrology, the Greek god Asclepius, and with medicine and healing. It consists of a serpent entwined around a staff.A similar symbol,”the Brazen Sepent”of Nehushtan, is mentioned in the Bible in the Book of Numbers (Numbers 21:6-9) the fourth book of the Hebrew Bible, and the fourth of five books of the Jewish Torah/Pentateuch.
"Then the LORD sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people, so that many people of Israel died. And the people came to Moses and said, "We have sinned, for we have spoken against the LORD and against you. Pray to the LORD, that he take away the serpents from us." So Moses prayed for the people. And the LORD said to Moses, "Make a fiery serpent and set it on a pole, and everyone who is bitten, when he sees it, shall live." Moses made a bronze serpent and set it on a pole. And if a serpent bit anyone, he would look at the bronze serpent and live."
In 1902 The Caduceus was added to the uniforms of Army medical officers.
It is relatively common, especially in the United States, to find the caduceus, with its two snakes and wings, used as a symbol of medicine instead of the correct rod of Asclepius, with only a single snake. This usage is erroneous, popularized largely as a result of the adoption of the caduceus as its insignia by the US Army Medical Corps in 1902 at the insistence of a single officer.
The rod of Asclepius is the dominant symbol for healthcare professionals and associations in the United States. One survey found that 62% of healthcare professionals used the rod of Asclepius, while 76% of commercial healthcare organizations used the caduceus.
The initial errors leading to its adoption and the continuing confusion it generates are well known to medical historians. The long-standing and abundantly attested historical associations of the caduceus with commerce, theft, deception, and death are considered by academics to be inappropriate in a symbol used by those engaged in the healing arts.
But the over one hundred years of US Army Medical Corps service, in peace and in war, has trumped the petty cavils of the nitpickers who were safely ensconced in Ivory Towers. The Authority of that service long ago sanctified The Caduceus, as the symbol of the US Army Medical Corps.