A cutting from the Tree of Hippocrates will be planted April 23 in front of the Medical School Expansion.
A cutting from the Tree of Hippocrates will be planted April 23 in front of the Medical School Expansion.

The UTHealth Medical School community is invited to celebrate a special planting of a cutting from the ancient tree of Hippocrates in Webber Plaza at 4:30 p.m., April 23.

The tree is a gift from the Consulate of Greece in Houston represented by Houston Consul Georgios Papanikolaou.

The original Tree of Hippocrates was located near the sanctuary in the center of Kos Island in Greece, where Hippocrates was said to instruct his students more than 2,400 years ago. The current “Hippocrates Tree,” is around 500 years old and is situated in the same location as the original. Legend states that Hippocrates, who is considered the father of medicine, taught his students under the original tree’s expansive branches.

“We are honored and grateful that our medical school will share this important piece of history with the birthplace of medicine,” said Dean Giuseppe Colasurdo. “I envision a future day, when our medical school students will be able to learn and share medical knowledge beneath this tree, which holds such significance for our profession.”

In addition to the plane tree, the Hellenic Cultural Center of the Southwest and its member organizations are presenting a bronze bust in the official likeness of Hippocrates that will sit atop a marble pillar next to the tree.

“In the long run, it would be wonderful if every medical school in the US had a Hippocrates plane tree,” said Dr. Ted Voloyiannis, volunteer faculty member of the Department of Surgery and a Memorial Hermann Medical Group staff surgeon who was instrumental in securing these gifts.