Corpus Curare Spiritumque

There have been some really good study / exam tips lately, so I thought I’d post something with a motivational flavour. (Also, I resisted doing a history post because it’s too close to the exam to risk taking you on a procrastination tangent).


ANZCA motto


“Corpus Curare Spiritumque” is the Latin motto which appears on the ANZCA coat of arms.

It translates as “To care for the body and its breath of life”. I think this encapsulates really well, so much of what anaesthetists do.

Whether we are in theatre, attending a trauma, in pre-admission clinic, or on a ward round, we are always focused on the whole patient. Especially in theatre, sometimes we are the only doctors who seem to have a handle on the big picture!

We are doctors who are good at keeping people alive. However, the full meaning of the “breath of life” can extend to include every aspect of homeostasis.

In order to live up to the lofty motto chosen by the Founding Fellows of the College, anaesthetists need a solid grounding in basic sciences.  That’s because we are surrounded every day by pharmacology, altered physiology, and technology.

At the end of the day, I hope that you can see the value and impact of all your study for the primary exam, in terms of your ability as an anaesthetist to “care for the body and its breath of life”.



2 thoughts on “Corpus Curare Spiritumque

  1. Is it just coincedence that the Latin verb curare has another meaning? I choose to believe that the Founding Fellows had a sense of humour.


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