William Osler, A Life in Medicine

A new book out by Michael Bliss about the life and career of Canada’s greatest ever physician. Though he died in 1919, he is still feted around the world through Osler societies, and books and monographs are continually written about him.

He was famed for being a very great teacher and noted medical historian and is known as the father of modern medicine. He invented rounds, where interns go to actual patients’ bedsides. Though he made no major discoveries, his footprints are on many pioneering tracks in medicine and his surname figures prominently throughout the nomenclature of medical pathology and disease.

From humble beginnings as a parson’s son in Bond Head, Ontario, he was to spring into global prominence as the greatest physician of his time, writing the standard medical text book, the last time a single man could have undertaken such a monumental task, impossible today.

He singlehandedly gave McGill its preeminent reputation as a medical mecca, then moved on to Philidelphia University, John Hopkins in Baltimore and finally to Oxford, where he was knighted as the professor regius of medicine.

One of the greatest Canadians ever born, it is sad so f Canadians know anything about Osler. It is a tribute that 90 years after his death, a major biography on his life and times was written.