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JAMA 100 Years Ago
February 27, 2008

A PHYSICIAN POET.

Author Affiliations
 

JAMA 100 Years Ago Section Editor: Jennifer Reiling, Assistant Editor.

JAMA. 2008;299(8):966. doi:10.1001/jama.299.8.966

A movement is on foot to obtain the permission of the Dean of Westminster, on whom devolves the privilege of conferring such permissions, to allow a memorial to be placed in Westminster Abbey in honor of the Canadian poet, William Henry Drummond. Few readers of current literature in this country are ignorant of the name and have not been delighted with some of the work of this poet of “The Habitant.” Few even of those who know him best, however, realize that for many years he was a practicing physician in Montreal and that he took his professional work very seriously, and was, indeed, in many ways the model of a physician at his best. His picture of the devotion and self-sacrifice of the doctor “on the parish of St. Matthieu” is indeed claimed by his friends to have contained more of the traits of his own character than of any one else with whom he or they were acquainted. The picture is quite as beautiful in its presentation of how a doctor may care for others without too many thoughts for himself as Ian Maclaren's “Weelum Maclure.” Literary men have not, as a rule, written over-favorably of doctors, and these two writers did much to redeem the profession from undeserved reproaches and to show that it still cherishes the highest ideals.

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