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SPECIAL CONTRIBUTION |

William Osler and Medical Journalism

Charles G. Roland, MD
JAMA. 1967;200(5):386-390. doi:10.1001/jama.1967.03120180074011.
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In 1899, in a memorial to his friend and colleague, William Pepper, Osler wrote:

It seems to me that for so young a man, Pepper had a great deal of good sense to have avoided the pitfalls of medical journalism. He must have seen at an early date that to be successful in it meant practically the sacrifice of everything else.1

Osler would seem, then, not favorably disposed toward medical journalism. Nevertheless, whatever the pitfalls of medical journalism, Osler was extremely successful in this endeavor; nor did he have to make any detectable sacrifice of other ambitions or projects.

Medical journalism is not always an easily defined activity. We might consider that it has three phases, each shading into the other. First, there is the medical editing done by most—but, lamentably, not all—authors. Editing and revising your own writing must be one of the most arduous of intellectual tasks.

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The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
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