Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 67.djvu/575

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569
THE PROGRESS OF SCIENCE.

THE PROGRESS OF SCIENCE.

DR. WILLIAM OSLER.

In the acceptance by Dr. William Osier of the regius professorship of medicine in the University of Oxford, the Johns Hopkins University loses its professor of medicine, the Johns Hopkins Hospital its physician-in-chief, and the medical profession in America a leader untiringly devoted to its service.

Dr. Osier is one of several talented brothers, sons of an episcopal clergyman in Canada. His life has thus far been a series of successes, long enough and valuable enough to give him a permanent and distinguished place in the annals of American medical history. He is still a relatively young man, younger even than his fifty-six years would indicate, and it may with confidence be predicted that important additions to his records of service will follow upon his residence in England.

In Montreal, as a young physician, he taught physiology, pathology and clinical medicine for ten years after graduation, at the end of which period he accepted a professorship of clinical medicine in the University of Pennsylvania. Five years later he was appointed to the Johns Hopkins positions, in which, during the past sixteen years, his most important work has been done. The results of his Baltimore activities testify to the sagacity of the men who selected him to meet the unique opportunities which the hospital and university there offered.

The services Dr. Osier has rendered, though difficult to estimate accurately at this nearness, has certainly been varied. It includes that of an investigator, of a medical teacher, of a practitioner, and last, by no means least, of an ethical preacher.

As an investigator, his earlier studies dealt with the histology of the blood, and his name is well known in the bibliography of the nucleated red corpuscles and the blood-platelets. Later on, his researches consisted chiefly in the combination of accurate clinical observation with careful post-mortem examinations. Among his best known publications are those dealing with acute ulcerative endocarditis, the cerebral palsies of children, chorea and allied disorders, typhoid fever, tuberculous pleurisy, abdominal tumors and chronic cyanosis. Though in the Johns Hopkins period his many teaching and executive duties, together with a rapidly increasing consultation practise, did not leave him much consecutive time for original work, he was ever stimulating the young men about him to undertake such work and encouraging them by sympathy and affording opportunity.

As a teacher of medicine Dr. Osier achieved extraordinary success. He knew how to excite enthusiasm in those who followed him through the wards or listened to him in the amphitheater or the dispensary. He is one of the few teachers of internal medicine who have competed successfully with the surgeon and the gynecologist in holding the attention and inspiring the interest and ambition of the medical student and young medical graduate. In the hospital he adopted the English-Scotch system of clinical clerkship in the wards, and improved upon it. He did away with didactic lectures and made his students, even before graduation, learn medicine by studying themselves the patients directly, using books and teachers only as guides and aids. The importance of thorough objective routine examination was urged; the laboratory and the current literature