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July 2017

A Year at the Bedside With Osler

Author Affiliations
  • 1Internal Medicine Residency Program, Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, Baltimore, Maryland
JAMA Intern Med. 2017;177(7):911-912. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2017.1080

He who studies medicine without books sails an uncharted sea, but he who studies medicine without patients does not go to sea at all.

Sir William Osler1

Ask any resident, and he or she will tell you that this oft-quoted meditation from Sir William Osler, the father of modern medicine and guiding light for many an internist, is beautiful in its language yet quaint and seemingly naïve when applied to the present day. What with the unrelenting demands of the ever-beckoning electronic medical records system, the endless cascade of pages and phone calls and emails from colleagues, and the new epicenter of the wards—the resident workroom—replacing the patient’s bedside as the primary locale for patient care, it is sometimes easy to forget that the patient exists at all.