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Doody ReviewsReviewer: Jennifer Anne Feighner, BA (Tulane University School of Medicine)
Description: This work is primarily a compilation of quotations by Sir William Osler, organized by subject. Within each chapter, the editors have provided a brief description preceding each quote for easy reference. An introductory chapter provides an overview of Osler's medical career, allowing the reader to view the citations within the context of his life and personal virtues.
Purpose: The purpose is to present an organized sample of Osler's quotations for those seeking an appropriate citation for a lecture, or simply for interested readers. The authors do reach this worthwhile goal, although they admit that a major obstacle in creating such a compilation is the vast amount of material that must be left out of such a work.
Audience: According to the editors, the audience is any reader wishing to learn more about Sir William Osler, anyone seeking inspiration from his approach to the practice of medicine as a calling, or anyone seeking an appropriate quotation from his speeches and writings. The editors, whose combined experience includes service as President of the American Osler Society and professors of Medical Humanities, are well-qualified on the subject matter.
Features: This work begins with an engaging summary of the medical career and personal value system of Sir William Osler. Each subsequent chapter consists of a compilation of quotations from his speeches and writings. These are organized by the main subject of each citation, such as personal qualities of a physician. Preceding each quotation is a brief summary of its main idea. This organization allows for quick reference for the focused reader, and also helps the reader to understand Osler's main message. This compilation provides an excellent overview of Osler's remarkable beliefs and writings, as well as appropriate material for lecture quotations. A drawback, admitted by the authors, is the amount of material that must be necessarily left out due to Osler's prolific nature. However, this does not detract from the main goals of the book and its overall effect in presenting a wonderful sample of Osler's citations.
Assessment: This book offers a unique compilation of quotations from Osler's remarkable writings and speeches. It will be useful to physicians, nurses, and medical students not only as readily accessible material for lectures, but also as a source of inspiration in the practice of the science as well as the art of medicine.