William Osler, fully Sir William Osler

William
Osler, fully Sir William Osler
1849
1919

Canadian Physician, Professor of Medicine, one of the "Big Four" founding professors at John Hopkins Hospital, First Professor of Medicine and Founder of Medical Services at John Hopkins Hospital

Author Quotes

The aim of a school should be to have these departments in the charge of men who have, first, enthusiasm that deep love of a subject, that desire to teach and extend it without which all instruction becomes cold and lifeless; secondly, a full personal knowledge of the branch taught; not a second-hand information derived from books, but the living experience derived from experimental and practical work in the best laboratories. ? Thirdly, men are required who have a sense of obligation, that feeling which impels a teacher to be also a contributor, and to add to the stores from which he so freely draws.

The librarian of today, and it will be true still more of the librarians of tomorrow, are not fiery dragons interposed between the people and the books. They are useful public servants, who manage libraries in the interest of the public . . . Many still think that a great reader, or a writer of books, will make an excellent librarian. This is pure fallacy.

There are only two sorts of doctors: those who practice with their brains, and those who practice with their tongues.

To die daily, after the manner of St. Paul, ensures the resurrection of a new man, who makes each day the epitome of life.

We doctors do not ?take stock? often enough.

The conglomeration which we call society is built upon a tripod ? the school-house, the hospital and the jail, which minister respectively to the manners, the maladies and the morals of man.

The only way to treat the common cold is with contempt.

There are three classes of human beings: men, women and women physicians.

To do today's work well and not to bother about tomorrow is the secret of accomplishment

We may indeed be justly proud of our apostolic succession. Schools and systems have flourished and gone, schools which have swayed for generations the thought of our guild, and systems that have died before their founders; the philosophies of one age have become the absurdities of the next, and the foolishness of yesterday has become the wisdom of to-morrow; through long ages which were slowly learning what we are hurrying to forget ? amid all the changes and chances of twenty-five centuries, the profession has never lacked men who have lived up to these Greek ideals.

The critical sense and skeptical attitude of the Hippocratic school laid the foundations of modern medicine on broad lines, and we owe to it: first, the emancipation of medicine from the shackles of priestcraft and of caste; secondly, the conception of medicine as an art based on accurate observation, and as a science, an integral part of the science of man and of nature; thirdly, the high moral ideals, expressed in that most "memorable of human documents" (Gomperz), the Hippocratic oath; and fourthly, the conception and realization of medicine as the profession of a cultivated gentleman.

The person who takes medicine must recover twice, once from the disease ,and once from the medicine.

There are, in truth, no specialties in medicine, since to know fully many of the most important diseases a man must be familiar with their manifestations in many organs.

To each one of you the practice of medicine will be very much as you make it ? to one a worry, a care, a perpetual annoyance; to another, a daily joy and a life of as much happiness and usefulness as can well fall to the lot of man.

We may indeed be justly proud of our apostolic succession. THESE ARE OUR METHODS - to carefully observe the phenomena of life in all its stages , to cultivate reasoning faculty so as to be able to know the true from the false. THIS IS OUR WORK - to prevent disease, to relieve suffering and to heal the sick.

The doctor who treats himself has a fool for a patient.

The practice of medicine is an art, not a trade; a calling, not a business; a calling in which your heart will be exercised equally with your head. Often the best part of your work will have nothing to do with potions and powders, but with the exercise of an influence of the strong upon the weak, of the righteous upon the wicked, of the wise upon the foolish.

There is a form that springs from the heart, heard every day in the merry voice of childhood, the expression of a laughter-loving spirit that defies analysis by the philosopher, which has nothing rigid or mechanical in it, and is totally without social significance. Bubbling spontaneously from the artless heart of child or man, without egoism and full of feeling, laughter is the music of life.

To have a group of cloistered clinicians away completely from the broad current of professional life would be bad for teacher and worse for student. The primary work of a professor of medicine in a medical school is in the wards, teaching his pupils how to deal with patients and their diseases.

What is patience but an equanimity which enables you to rise superior to the trials of life.

The dry formal lecture never, or at any rate rarely, touches the heart, but it is in [the] conversational method of the seminar, or in the quiet evening at home, with a select group and a few good editions of a favorite author, that the enthusiasm of the teacher becomes contagious.

The Scots are the backbone of Canada. They are all right in their three vital parts ? head, heart and haggis.

There is no disease more conducive to clinical humility than aneurysm of the aorta.

To have striven, to have made the effort, to have been true to certain ideals ? this alone is worth the struggle.

What is the student but a lover courting a fickle mistress who ever eludes his grasp?

Author Picture
First Name
William
Last Name
Osler, fully Sir William Osler
Birth Date
1849
Death Date
1919
Bio

Canadian Physician, Professor of Medicine, one of the "Big Four" founding professors at John Hopkins Hospital, First Professor of Medicine and Founder of Medical Services at John Hopkins Hospital