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History of Medicine |

The Art of Observation: William Osler and the Method of Zadig

Beth M. Belkin, PhD, MD; and Francis A. Neelon, MD
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Requests for Reprints: Francis A. Neelon, MD, Duke University Medical Center, Box 3021, Durham, NC 27710.

Current Author Addresses: Dr. Belkin: 12 Myrtledale Road, Scarsdale, NY 10583.

Dr. Neelon: Duke University Medical Center, Box 3021, Durham, NC 27710.

© 1992 American College of PhysiciansAmerican College of Physicians

Ann Intern Med. 1992;116(10):863-866. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-116-10-863
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This excerpt has been provided in the absence of an abstract.

Sir William Osler took as his teaching motto the ancient maxim that the "whole art of medicine is in observation" (1). Rufus Cole (2) describes how Oslputer put that precept into action and made the experience vivid for his students:

Osler's greatest originality as a teacher was shown in his work with students who for the first time were coming into contact with patients. He taught them by joining in the examination of patients chosen at random whom neither he nor the students had ever seen before. With no other aids, teacher and students attempted to learn all they could


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