Greek Ophthalmology
Italy (1949) 2nd World Congress of Health. 

Despite its sinister appearance, the Staff of Asklepios (or Aesculapius) with its 
rod and an entwined serpent has been an accepted symbol of the Medical 
Profession since its inception. The symbol was thought to derive from the belief 
that Asklepios can metamorphose into a serpent. However, some believe that 
its origin may be traced to the therapeutic method used to extract the parasite
Dracunculus medicinesis. A small piece of stick is used to extract the worm
by slowly rolling it on to stick as it appears through the skin. The parasite is 
represented as a snake and the piece of stick as a rod. 

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