The Hippocratic oath is a pledge doctors make to practice medicine fairly and ethically.
The name comes from the Greek philosopher and "father of modern medicine," Hippocrates.
William Carlos Williams (1883-1963) was an American poet who wrote in modernistic and imagistic styles. For much of his life, Williams made his living as a doctor. Best known for his poetry, he was also a short story writer and essayist.
Some of his best known poems are "This is Just to Say" and "The Red Wheelbarrow." (Adah quotes "The Red Wheelbarrow" earlier in the novel.)