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Happy Birthday to Sir William Osler

Tuesday, July 12 marked the 167th birthday of Sir William Osler, one of the original physician leaders of The Johns Hopkins Hospital. 

In 1884, Johns Hopkins University began to recruit leaders to help prepare the university for the opening of The Johns Hopkins Hospital. Dr. Osler was recruited to Hopkins in 1888 and named chief physician when the hospital opened in the spring of 1889. In 1892, Dr. Osler wrote "The Principles and Practice of Medicine," the first great textbook of modern medicine, dubbing him the father of American medicine and the first to encourage medical students to learn at the bedside.

Dr. Osler dedicated his life to the practice, education, research and social concerns in medicine. He wrote 1,158 medical publications, and 182 literary papers and essays including Aequanimitas, the farewell lecture he gave when he resigned his position at the University of Pennsylvania to join Hopkins. In it, he emphasized that aequanimitas (meaning serenity) of the mind is the most important quality for a physician, no matter what crisis he or she might face. He often referred to imperturbability, which he said mean “coolness and presence of mind under all circumstances, calmness amid storm, clearness of judgment in moments of grave peril, immobility, impassiveness or, to use an old and expressive word, phlegm.”

With the hospital's recent switch to EPIC, we would like to thank everyone who has embodied this sense of imperturbability and contributed to “coolness and presence of mind.”

-Stephanie Reel, Senior Vice President and CIO, Johns Hopkins Health System, Johns Hopkins Medicine


Kelsey Bennett