Osler, Sir William (ōˈslər) [key], 1849–1919, Canadian physician, M.D. McGill Univ., 1872. Renowned as a physician and as a medical historian, he was also the most brilliant and influential teacher of medicine in his day. He was professor at McGill (1875–84), the Univ. of Pennsylvania (1884–89), Johns Hopkins (1889–1904), and Oxford (from 1905). In 1911 he was knighted. His many medical observations include those on blood platelets and on the abnormally high red blood cell count in polycythemia. He wrote The Principles and Practice of Medicine (1892), one of the most prestigious medical textbooks in modern times, often revised, and A Concise History of Medicine (1919).
See Aphorisms from His Bedside Teachings and Writings (W. B. Bean, ed. 1950); biographies by H. Cushing (1925) and E. G. Reid (1931); bibliography by R. L. Golden and C. G. Roland (1988).