Swallowing Osler's Words

Sir William Osler was a Canadian physician who gained fame in the USA at Johns Hopkins Hospital, and then became knighted in 1911 in England. Truly a man of the world, and the words he left us in medicine are often quoted and often thought of when we get the chance to actually sit and talk with patients. For those who even have read only one or two of my posts, one would say, I'm not shy of prescribing and recommending medication. So it's always with a bit of pause when I mull over the words of Osler: "the desire to take medicine is perhaps the greatest feature which distinguishes man from animals." Was this rally a backhanded complement? Does this mean that we cannot be natural? Did this mean we are too quick to take medicine? Does this mean that we must only fix with medicine? Understanding the subtext of this sentence reminds me to start each piece of advice with: remember: lifestyle choices are as important as the medicines to swallow that my recommendations may also be!


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