Dr. William OslerDr. William Osler
Time 1892
Title Osler Publishes The Principles and Practice of Medicine
Event Dr. William Osler’s book emphasizes patient/physician relationships and the importance of good bedside manner. Osler revolutionizes the medical curriculum of the United States and Canada by teaching medical students at bedside. He believes that students learn best by closely observing and interacting with patients. Books and lectures are supportive tools, but hands-on interaction is of highest importance. Osler also introduces the German postgraduate training system. The system requires one year of general internship followed by several years of residency with increasing clinical responsibilities.

Osler is famously quoted as saying, “It is much more important to know what sort of a patient has a disease than to know what kind of a disease a patient has.” This focus on patients’ personalities, and not just their physical diseases, is remarkable at this time.

Osler is a superb diagnostician and clinician and practices in the allopathic tradition. However, his focus on the patient as a whole person, not just a body to be medicated, informs his treatment choices.

Osler does not address spirituality in his work, but most likely would have considered a patient’s spiritual leanings when getting to know him or her.

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