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.