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August 1963

Sir William Osler The Pediatrician

Author Affiliations

Benjamin H. Robbins, MD, Department of Pediatrics, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, Tenn; From the Department of Pediatrics, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.

Am J Dis Child. 1963;106(2):124-129. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1963.02080050126002

Few American physicians think of Sir William Osier as a pediatrician. While he might have been the first to deny this, nevertheless his contributions to the new specialty of his time were significant. As a medical leader his influence in the organizational aspects of pediatrics, as we now know it, were likewise great.

In perusing Osler's bibliography with its roughly 1,200 titles, it occurred to us to search for pediatric content. Almost 100 articles dealing with this field of medicine are noted. When we discovered that he had been the fourth president of the American Pediatric Society, we knew that we must look at the "Father of American Medicine" through pediatric glasses. It has been a rewarding experience. The magnificent flowing descriptive ability and clinical acuity of an old master is a trait which seems now to be fading from medicine with the advent of technical advances.

Harvey Cushing's award

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