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housestaff listening to a physician speak

Emblazoned on the shield of The Johns Hopkins Department of Medicine is the word Aequanimitas. The term means imperturbability and was regarded by Sir William Osler as the premier quality of a good physician. In his essay, Aequanimitas, Dr. Osler further defines this concept as coolness and presence of mind under all circumstances, calmness amid storm, clearness of judgment in moments of grave peril. In full development, it has the nature of a divine gift, a blessing to the possessor, a comfort to all who come in contact with him. At the beginning of their Osler residency, interns are given a copy of this essay --- both to bolster their spirit and to refresh their memories during the trials of the following year.

housestaff during rounds

The Osler motto, Aequanimitas, is emboldened on the housestaff tie and scarves, which are given to incoming interns, as an introduction and welcome in to the family and tradition of Johns Hopkins. The tie/bowtie/scarf is traditionally worn every Friday. This tradition has lived on at academic centers across the country where Osler alumni move beyond the dome. It has even taken hold in popular culture, having been mentioned in the popular television program House.

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