July 1973

The Master-Word in Medicine: A Study in Rhetoric.

Author Affiliations

Galveston, Tex


By Charles G. Roland, MD. Price, $5.75. Pp 34. Charles C Thomas Publisher, 301-327 E Lawrence Ave, Springfield, IL 62703,1972.

Arch Intern Med. 1973;132(1):141. doi:10.1001/archinte.1973.03650070127029

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This very exiguous volume offers the reader only one of the 22 addresses that Sir William Osier himself later published as Aequanimitas With Other Addresses, a volume that is still available. The title of the privately published edition (1903) of this address puts Osler's message plainly, "The master-word is work." As Osler phrased it elsewhere, he preached the "gospel of the day's work" and faith in the "routine work of our profession." This short address is an excellent example of Osler's eloquent apologies for the practical humanism of the physician and is a sensitive appeal to the students of medicine to fall in love with the labors of medicine.

The address was delivered Oct 1, 1903, at the dedication of a building for the University of Toronto Medical Faculty—the building in which Banting and Best were to discover insulin—and is rich in references to the early history of that school.

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