ONE HUNDRED years after the birth of William Osler is a fitting time to revive old memories of the master of clinical medicine, and a good time also to bring forward new knowledge of him. During the later years of his life he was a hero to the rising generation of medical men, and after his death biographers heaped his shrine high with tributes, higher than the hero himself would have liked, no doubt. And so, for those who did not know him, I fear this fulsome praise may have obscured the simplicity and the charm of the man.
Some of the material to be presented here may seem sophomoric; but it is new, for contemporary descriptions of Osler by his own students are rare. Perhaps this is because greatness close at hand may pass as commonplace; perhaps it is only that the undergraduate perceives the danger of expressing his
PENFIELD W. HERO WORSHIP. Arch Intern Med (Chic). 1949;84(1):104–109. doi:10.1001/archinte.1949.00230010114020
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