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Dr. William Osler

Our Namesake

Sir William Osler, probably the most famous physician of the 20th century -- and Johns Hopkins' very first physician-in-chief -- set the gold standard in general medical practice. His 1892 authoritative textbook, "The Principles and Practice of Medicine", which chronicled 50 years of advances in medical science, also emphasized ways to reach out to patients.

Osler taught medical students at the patient's bedside. He valued his patients' insights and took careful note of how they described their symptoms. He believed students learn best by conducting a thorough history and physical examination. He combined a humanistic approach to the patient with the best that medical science had to offer.

"Care more particularly for the individual patient than for the special features of the disease."  Sir William Osler

The Need For a Modern, Old-Fashioned Doctor

  • Across the country, Americans are longing for the return of the old-style family physician, the kind of doctor who puts patients above all else. The Johns Hopkins Division of General Internal Medicine wants to make that longing a reality -- but with a twist. It wants to:
  • Combine old-fashioned caring with superb modern medicine.
  • Train physicians in the art of communication.
  • Ensure that those entering the practice of medicine learn how to listen and form partnerships with their patients.
  • Teach physicians to recognize how the strains of a demanding profession can affect the way they deliver care.
  • Enable physicians to appreciate cultural differences so care plans make sense to the patient.
  • Emphasize the necessity of a team approach in caring for each patient.
  • Underscore the maxim that the best way to care for the patient is to care about the patient.

Staffed by physicians who are expert in education and centered in one of the world's leading medical centers, the Primary Care Consortium at Johns Hopkins was developed to become a national leader in shaping the "Modern Old-Fashioned Doctor".

Need For a Modern, Old-Fashioned Doctor

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