Living with Osler

For far too long I have neglected writing about my current residence. The house itself is quite famous because it was built and for many years inhabited by a guy who has been described as the “Father of Modern Medicine.”

Sir William Osler was a physician, clinician, pathologist, teacher, diagnostician, bibliophile, historian, classicist, essayist, conversationalist, organiser, manager and author. In short, your average Oxford don.

My mum forwarded me a couple of quotes of his from this week’s Journal of The Danish Medical Association:

Look wise, say nothing, and grunt (on the art of medicine)

Go to bed. Put a hat on the bedpost. Drink whiskey until you see two hats (about the best remedy for the common cold)

He is known for other brilliant pieces of advice:

…listen to your patient, he is telling you the diagnosis.

Remember the abdomen begins at the neck and ends at the knees.

Punctuality is the pure essential of a physician. If invariably on time he will succeed even in the face of professional mediocrity (source).

In addition to my house being steeped in history, I have recently learned that my opposite neighbour is pretty famous, too. Punctuality aside, it is easy to feel mediocre around here – Oxford is a bloody brilliant place to live.

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