Osier: Inspirations From a Great Physician

Gerald F. Tremblay, MD, JD
JAMA. 1997;278(14):1201-1202. doi:10.1001/jama.1997.03550140095053.
Text Size: A A A
Published online


Reading about Osler is easier than reading Osier; his style is dated and his literary allusions are obscure. In "Books and Men," for example, he wrote:

Those of us who have brought forth fat volumes should offer hecatombs at these shrines of Minerva Medica. What exsuccous, attenuated offspring they would have been but for the pablum furnished through the placental circulation of a library. How often can it be said of us with truth, "Das beste was er ist verdankt er andern!"

In the same paragraph is the oftenquoted sentence, "To study the phenomena of disease without books is to sail an uncharted sea, while to study books without patients is not to go to sea at all."

Because the modern reader of Osler would need to trudge through many passages like the former to find rare gems like the latter, one might justifiably ask whether Osler is relevant to


Sign In to Access Full Content

Don't have Access?

Register and get free email Table of Contents alerts, saved searches, PowerPoint downloads, CME quizzes, and more

Subscribe for full-text access to content from 1998 forward and a host of useful features

Activate your current subscription (AMA members and current subscribers)

Purchase Online Access to this article for 24 hours




Meets CME requirements for:
Browse CME for all U.S. States
Accreditation Information
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.
Note: You must get at least of the answers correct to pass this quiz.
You have not filled in all the answers to complete this quiz
The following questions were not answered:
Sorry, you have unsuccessfully completed this CME quiz with a score of
The following questions were not answered correctly:
Commitment to Change (optional):
Indicate what change(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.
Your quiz results:
The filled radio buttons indicate your responses. The preferred responses are highlighted
For CME Course: A Proposed Model for Initial Assessment and Management of Acute Heart Failure Syndromes
Indicate what changes(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.
Citing articles are presented as examples only. In non-demo SCM6 implementation, integration with CrossRef’s "Cited By" API will populate this tab (http://www.crossref.org/citedby.html).


Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Sign In to Access Full Content

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging & repositioning the boxes below.