William Osler
Sir William Osler, 1st Baronet (July 12, 1849 – December 29, 1919) was a physician
A physician is a health care provider who practices the profession of medicine, which is concerned with promoting, maintaining or restoring human health through the study, diagnosis, and treatment of disease, injury and other physical and mental impairments...

. He was one of the "Big Four" founding professors at Johns Hopkins Hospital
Johns Hopkins Hospital
The Johns Hopkins Hospital is the teaching hospital and biomedical research facility of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, located in Baltimore, Maryland . It was founded using money from a bequest by philanthropist Johns Hopkins...

 as the first Professor of Medicine and founder of the Medical Service there. (The "Big Four" were William Osler, Professor of Medicine; William Stewart Halsted
William Stewart Halsted
William Stewart Halsted was an American surgeon who emphasized strict aseptic technique during surgical procedures, was an early champion of newly discovered anesthetics, and introduced several new operations, including the radical mastectomy for breast cancer...

, Professor of Surgery; Howard A. Kelly, Professor of Gynecology; and William H. Welch
William H. Welch
William Henry Welch, M.D. was an American physician, pathologist, and medical school administrator. He was one of the "Big Four" founding professors at Johns Hopkins Hospital. William Henry Welch, M.D. (April 8, 1850 - April 30, 1934) was an American physician, pathologist, and medical school...

, Professor of Pathology.) Osler created the first residency program for specialty training of physicians, and he was the first to bring medical students out of the lecture hall for bedside clinical training.

He has been called the "Father of modern medicine
Medicine is the science and art of healing. It encompasses a variety of health care practices evolved to maintain and restore health by the prevention and treatment of illness....

." Osler was a pathologist, physician, educator, bibliophile, historian, author, and renowned practical joker.
William's great grandfather, Edward Osler, was variously described as either a merchant seaman or a pirate, and one of William's uncles (Edward Osler 1798-1863), a medical officer in the Navy, wrote the Life of Lord Exmouth and the poem The Voyage. William Osler's father, Featherstone Lake Osler (1805–1895), the son of a shipowner at Falmouth, Cornwall
Falmouth, Cornwall
Falmouth is a town, civil parish and port on the River Fal on the south coast of Cornwall, England, United Kingdom. It has a total resident population of 21,635.Falmouth is the terminus of the A39, which begins some 200 miles away in Bath, Somerset....

, was a former Lieutenant in the Royal Navy and served on .

Common sense in matters medical is rare, and is usually in inverse ratio to the degree of education.

"Teaching and Thinking" in The Montreal Medical Journal (1895)

The trained nurse has become one of the great blessings of humanity, taking a place beside the physician and the priest, and not inferior to either in her mission.

Address at John Hopkins Hospital (1897); later published in Aequanimitas, and Other Addresses (1905)

When schemes are laid in advance, it is surprising how often the circumstances fit in with them.

"Internal Medicine as a Vocation" Address to the New York Academy of Medicine (1897); later published in Aequanimitas, and Other Addresses (1905)

We can only instill principles, put the student in the right path, give him method, teach him how to study, and early to discern between essentials and non-essentials.

"After Twenty Five Years", an address at McGill College, Montreal (1899); later published in Aequanimitas : With other Addresses to Medical Students, Nurses and Practitioners of Medicine (1910), p. 210

To study the phenomenon of disease without books is to sail an uncharted sea, while to study books without patients is not to go to sea at all.

"Books and Men" in Boston Medical and Surgical Journal (1901)

No human being is constituted to know the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth; and even the best of men must be content with fragments, with partial glimpses, never the full fruition.

"The Student Life" in The Medical News (30 September 1905)

Acquire the art of detachment, the virtue of method, and the quality of thoroughness, but above all the grace of humility.

As quoted in The Book of Unusual Quotations (1957) by Rudolf Franz Flesch, p. 122

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

As quoted in Computers in biomedical research (1965) by Ralph W. Stacy, p. 320

The best preparation for tomorrow is to do today's work superbly well.

As quoted in Lifetime Speaker's Encyclopedia (1962) by Jacob Morton Braude, p. 575