Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Dr. Osler's Advice Column

As part of a continuing series, your moderator offers today selected quotations from the father of modern medicine, Sir William Osler. The great physician and healer left us with scores of insightful and well-stated maxims in a broad range of catagories that can inspire both health care professional and layperson. Please feel free to assimilate and then disseminate these entertaining words.

"By far the most dangerous foe we have to fight is apathy - indifference from whatever cause, not from a lack of knowledge, but from carelessness, from absorption in other pursuits, from a contempt bred of self satisfaction."

"With half an hour's reading in bed every night as a steady practice, the busiest man can get a fair education before the plasma sets in the periganglionic spaces of his grey cortex."

"We are all dietetic sinners: only a small percent of what we eat nourishes us, the balance goes to waste and loss of energy."

"The chief function of the consultant is to make a rectal examination that you have omitted."

"To know just what has to be done, then to do it, comprises the whole philosophy of practical life."

...and my favorite aphorism of all (note the connection to your moderator's moniker):

"Hilarity and good humor, a breezy cheerfulness...help enormously both in the study and in the practice of medicine."

If there ever was a speciality that begged for good humor, it is medical oncology. Heaven knows it isn't easy, but this recorder of the vicissitudes of life will do all in his power to live up to the title of this tiny corner of the blogosphere.


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