Phil B.FontanarosaMD, Deputy EditorIndividualAuthorStephen J.LurieMD, PhD, Contributing EditorIndividualAuthor
In Reply: I thank Dr Carter for his insightful
comments on my article about the life and teachings of Sir William Osler.
On a minor note, it is not quite accurate to depict Osler as one who "never
had his own clinical practice." He engaged in private practice throughout
his career, beginning in 1874 with service as a locum tenens in Dundas, Ontario,
earning his first fee of 50¢ for the removal of a speck from the cornea.
Osler maintained his own office, but his main role in private practice was
as a consultant. He commented, "It is not necessary for every man to be a
practitioner in the ordinary sense, but long years of hospital and laboratory
work constitute a better equipment for the teacher and consultant."1 Indeed, for most of his career Osler was opposed
to the concept of the full-time clinical teacher, although he later endorsed
the idea. His private consulting practice reached its peak in Baltimore, Md,
where in 1901 he traveled more than 19,000 miles and saw 780 new patients
(exclusive of the hospital), including cabinet ministers and consultations
at the White House.2 This increasing burden
was a major factor in Osler's decision to accept the Regius Professorship
at Oxford University in 1904, with its far less onerous demands.
Golden RL. William Osler at 150—Reply. JAMA. 2000;283(20):2658. doi:10.1001/jama.283.20.2653