Osler: Inspirations from a Great Physician / Edition 1

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Overview

Sir William Osler (1849-1919), one of the world's most influential physicians at the turn of the twentieth century, remained popular long after his death largely due to his inspirational texts. Regretfully, changing times and literary tastes have lessened the impact of Osler's addresses despite the timelessness of his ideals and practical advice. Charles Bryan has successfully mended the disfavor in the present volume. Framing the great physician's message in contemporary, easily accessible terms, he allows modern readers to rediscover the immense appeal and pragmatism of Osler's invigorating writings.
This volume is based on the author's conviction that Osler was, above all, a motivator. He set high personal goals, achieved them, and inspired others to do the same. Bryan merges what Osler wrote, said, and did with the main themes of today's motivational literature—time management, mentoring, positive thinking, and seeking a balanced life are some examples. He also draws upon the great writers—Shakespeare, Cervantes, Montaigne, Plutarch, and others—whom Osler prescribed as bedside reading for his medical students. Osler emerges as a real-life human being, not a paper saint, but a person who sought the best from his culture and knowledge, and managed to give his best in return. Readers will find this book useful not only as an index to Oslerian thought but also as a guide to principle-based yet pragmatic everyday living.

The book contains black-and-white illustrations.

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Editorial Reviews

Thomas Huddle
This book examines William Osler's words and life story and draws lessons for today's physicians. Not an attempt at biography, it is organized into chapters on clusters of skills, attitudes, and behaviors that Osler recommended and exemplified. The purpose is to explicate an oslerian ideal of the good physician and of the good life, as conveyed by Osler's words and experiences. The book is aimed at all physicians, especially those at the outset of their careers. The author's sources are manifold: although Osler's words are the most important, the author draws on the reminiscences of many of Osler's contemporaries. Osler's own favorite authors are mined, and allusion is occasionally made to modern management and self-help authors who connect with Osler's precepts from a popular psychology standpoint. The book is handsomely produced, but unfortunately the publishers neglected to add headers to the notes pages so that readers can easily turn from text to notes and back. The notes are a useful guide to much of what's been written about Osler, by contemporaries and by later historians. The author effectively distills an oslerian approach to medicine and to life from Osler's writings and life story. His extensive use of oslerian anecdotes and quotations paint a fascinating picture of Osler, although that is a secondary aim of the book. Young doctors are today seldom offered inspiring examples to follow, unless they are fortunate enough to meet such people while training. This book may succeed in inspiring where more direct exhortation falls flat. It would make a wonderful gift for beginning physicians.
From The Critics
Reviewer:Thomas Huddle, MD, PhD (VA Medical Center Birmingham)
Description:This book examines William Osler's words and life story and draws lessons for today's physicians. Not an attempt at biography, it is organized into chapters on clusters of skills, attitudes, and behaviors that Osler recommended and exemplified.
Purpose:The purpose is to explicate an oslerian ideal of the good physician and of the good life, as conveyed by Osler's words and experiences.
Audience:The book is aimed at all physicians, especially those at the outset of their careers.
Features:The author's sources are manifold: although Osler's words are the most important, the author draws on the reminiscences of many of Osler's contemporaries. Osler's own favorite authors are mined, and allusion is occasionally made to modern management and self-help authors who connect with Osler's precepts from a popular psychology standpoint. The book is handsomely produced, but unfortunately the publishers neglected to add headers to the notes pages so that readers can easily turn from text to notes and back. The notes are a useful guide to much of what's been written about Osler, by contemporaries and by later historians.
Assessment:The author effectively distills an oslerian approach to medicine and to life from Osler's writings and life story. His extensive use of oslerian anecdotes and quotations paint a fascinating picture of Osler, although that is a secondary aim of the book. Young doctors are today seldom offered inspiring examples to follow, unless they are fortunate enough to meet such people while training. This book may succeed ininspiring where more direct exhortation falls flat. It would make a wonderful gift for beginning physicians.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195112511
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 3/28/1997
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 280
  • Sales rank: 987,838
  • Product dimensions: 9.50 (w) x 6.31 (h) x 0.97 (d)

Meet the Author

Charles Stone Bryant, M.D., is the Heyward Gibbes Distinguished Professor of Internal Medicine and Chair of the Department of Medicine at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine. He is a fellow and laureate of the American College of Physicians, a fellow of the Infectious Diseases Society of America, and a recipient of the William Osler Medal of the American Association for the History of Medicine.

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Table of Contents

1. Manage Time Well: Day-Tight Compartments
2. Find a Calling: Being True to Certain Ideals
3. Find Mentors: The Young Person's Friend
4. Be Positive: Prince of Friends and Benefactors
5. Learn and Teach: Driving Plato's Horses
6. Care, Carefully: The Least Sentimental and the Most Helpful
7. Communicate: Secrets of the Heart
8. Seek Balance: A Simple and Temperate Life
9. (Epilogue) Osler on Character: Pursue Virtue Virtuously

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