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April 1965

Teacher and Student

Arch Intern Med. 1965;115(4):381-386. doi:10.1001/archinte.1965.03860160007002

THE LIVES of Harvey Cushing and William Osler were intertwined. I read these two biographies again to see if the interplay between the books would give a clearer picture of both men, and, especially, if a deeper understanding of William Osler would emerge—his relations with the world, with other people, and with himself. The involvement between Osler and Cushing presents a chance to focus attention on Osler by reflecting on a product of his own teaching. This rare chance is enriched by the distinction of both the teacher and the student.

Cushing was a member of the class of 1894 at Harvard. This was the last class in which students at Harvard Medical School could graduate in three years, and for this reason most of the students decided to take their degrees in the year 1894. Cushing vacillated. On his 25th birthday (April 8, 1894) he wrote to his father