When Jesus gave the two keys to the kingdom of heaven to St. Peter, he took his ephemeral teachings of compassion and generosity and manifested them into hard metal emblems of elitism, ownership, and exclusion. The gold and silver keys symbolize the power of the church, through the Pope, to decide what is bound and loosed (against or not against the laws of God) on earth and in heaven.
The rod of the Greek deity Asclepius has been the symbol of healing and medicine since ancient times. Composed of a rod with a serpent winding around it, it was confused with the caduceus, or rod of Hermes, when the US Army Medical Corps added it to their logo in 1902. Also consisting of a rod but with two serpents winding around it and wings, the rod of Hermes is actually a symbol of power and commerce – conducting the dead and protecting both merchants and thieves. The medical profession continues to use the caduceus by mistake to this day.
The keys in this piece represent the confusion between salvation and commerce. The interception of money, hierarchy, and bureaucracy between a person and their healing, spiritual or medical.
Friend: "The ideas behind this stuff are so complex do you expect anyone to want to understand it?" Me: "That's why I try to make them pretty"