[Skip to Navigation]
November 1974

A Comment on William B. Bean's Medical Writing: The Bean Bag

Author Affiliations

Bethesda, Md

Arch Intern Med. 1974;134(5):834-835. doi:10.1001/archinte.1974.00320230044007

This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.


William B. Bean, MD, like Osler, may be characterized as a distinguished clinician, scholar, educator, and humanist. His medical writing began with a comprehensive review and appraisal of 300 cases of infarction of the heart, which was published in the American Heart Journal in 1937, and he has since covered such diverse fields as nutrition, respiratory disease, arachnodactyly, arterial "spiders," climatology, slum eradication and housing, liver disease, and "omphalosophy." Interspersed throughout his scientific papers one finds philosophical maxims and aphorisms that in many instances equal those that the Beans (Robert B. and William B., father and son) memorialized through their publication Sir William Osler Aphorisms. Obviously, the younger Bean was influenced by the spirit and performance of Osler.

In his later years, Bill Bean has become a prolific essayist and biographer, writing about Harvey, Schick, Darwin, Bierring, Starling, Lettsom, Bacon, Rabelais, Radcliffe, Hutchinson, Bartlett, Goldberger, Osier, Billings, Huxley, and

First Page Preview View Large
First page PDF preview
First page PDF preview
Add or change institution