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October 1970

A Way of Life.

Author Affiliations

New Orleans

Arch Intern Med. 1970;126(4):704. doi:10.1001/archinte.1970.00310100150029

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As with all great teachers, William Osler had the capacity to inspire his students and through them to influence future generations. The everwidening circles of his impact are clearly illustrated in the present reprint of his Silliman Lecture to the Yale undergraduate students delivered on April 20, 1913. McGovern, a second-generation Osler disciple, shows his admiration and respect for this great teacher in a brief but well-written foreword.

The lecture, which McGovern describes as a lay sermon, urges a way of life upon undergraduates which is as applicable today as it was 50 years ago. Although a synopsis scarcely does Osier justice, essentially he recommended living each day as it came, barring the past, and shutting out the future. Regretting the previous day's failures or anticipating future difficulties can only prevent one from pushing ahead with the tasks at hand.

The appearance of this small but excellent reprint coincides with

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