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Sir William Osler, MD – Wisdom We Must Heed

Some insightful quotations by Sir William Osler, one of the four founding physicians and faculty of Johns Hopkins Hospital. Dr. Osler emphasized listening to and carefully examining the patient, learning at the bedside caring for people who were sick, not “diagnosis codes” and insurance-driven “protocols.” The priniciples taught by Sir William Osler were the hallmark of my own training at Johns Hopkins Hospital. We have lost our way and strayed disastrously from these principles throughout the COVID pandemic response in particular.

We MUST return to the principles of Hippocratic medicine as taught by Dr. Osler and others from the beginning of formal hospital-based medical care in the United States.

Dr. Vliet, President and CEO, Truth for Health Foundation. August 21, 2021

Quotes from Sir William Osler that have inspired and guided me:

“The good physician treats the disease; the great physician treats the patient who has the disease”.

“He who studies medicine without books sails an uncharted sea, but he who studies medicine without patients does not go to sea at all”.

“Medicine is a science of uncertainty and an art of probability”.

“The greater the ignorance the greater the dogmatism”.

“The value of experience is not in seeing much, but in seeing wisely”.

“We are here to add what we can to life, not to get what we can from life”.

“The best preparation for tomorrow is to do today’s work superbly well”.

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