Social media has many pros and cons, but one of the things I have grown to love since becoming program director of the Osler Medical Residency is seeing pictures on Twitter of Osler residents and alumni out and about wearing their “Osler” scarf, tie, or socks on a Friday. In 1977, contemporary with the creation of the Firm System, Victor McKusick created the tradition of wearing the scarves and ties on Fridays at the suggestion of junior resident John Beary III.
The idea, it is said, was to ensure that residents continued to feel part of the same program even though they were members of different firms. The “Osler” tie and scarf certainly did this, and I am sure Dr. McKusick would be delighted by the continued impact the ties and scarves have beyond the walls of The Johns Hopkins Hospital, nearly 40 years later.
When I first started noting the pictures, I appreciated the support for the program that was on display. However, I’ve now come to understand that the scarves and ties aren’t just Aequanimitas-emblazoned fashion accessories that maintain memories — for many of our alumni and residents they are symbols of the ideals of our program: a commitment to excellence, a belief in rigorous training that yields outstanding clinical skills, a focus on the team and ensuring everyone is growing and learning, a desire to lead and/or be a role model, a love of bedside-based education, and Aequanimitas.
These are the ideals Sir William Osler infused into the program, and that continue to make the Osler Medical Residency a unique and exceptional experience.
It’s wonderful to see images of Hopkins faculty sporting their tie or scarf, but it’s even more heartwarming when it is people who have moved on, but who remain connected to the program through a shared identity that comes with being a part of the Osler family. When our diaspora takes our ideals and shares them with others and in other locales, the program is achieving one of its highest purposes.Medical training is evolving, as it should and must, but it is critical that the patient remains at the center of what we do. Focusing on that purpose, and our identity, is how the Osler Medical Residency will continue to shape medicine in the decades to come. Happy Friday.