Letter from R. H. Fitz to James Tyson [Transcript]
Fitz comments on Osler's merits as a teacher. He remarks that Montreal expected to lose Osler sooner or later.
[Description courtesy of McGill University.]
Soon after Osler's death in 1919, Lady Osler asked their good friend Dr. Harvey Cushing to write a biography. For this
project, Cushing gathered a wide variety of material, including a substantial amount of Osler correspondence and other memorabilia
borrowed from Osler's family, friends, and colleagues. He employed three secretaries to transcribe these documents, and
later donated the transcripts (along with his other working materials) to the Osler Library. Many of the original documents
were returned to the owners. The originals that were retained, together with the Cushing transcripts, constitute the largest
and most accessible collection of Osler's correspondence.
Harvey Cushing's "Life of Sir William Osler" was published by Oxford University Press in 1925, and was awarded
a Pulitzer Prize in 1926.
Number of Image Pages:
1 (1,158,314 Bytes)
1884-06-30 (June 30, 1884)
Fitz, R. H.
Transcriber: [Cushing, Harvey]
Original Repository: Osler Library of the History of Medicine, McGill University. Osler Library Archive Collections, P417: Harvey Cushing Fonds
This item is in the public domain. It may be used without permission.
Philadelphia Years: The University of Pennsylvania, 1884-1889
18 Arlington Street,
June 30, 1884
Dear Dr. Tyson,
Unfortunately I am very much the same position as yourself with reference to his merits as a teacher. With the highest opinion
of his qualifications and the knowledge that he is regarded as one of the strongest men in the school, and the information
that he occupies a conspicuous position among the younger men as a practitioner. I am in the dark as to his personal relation
Some of us were inclined to advocate his merits in connection with our own vacancy in clinical medicine consequent to poor
Dr. Ellis's death.
I should have no hesitation in recommending him as probably qualified, the element of uncertainty must exist, and your School
should have a man prominent in your own city, if possible.
I had supposed you might be asked to transfer your teaching to the clinical side, if so, Osler is likely to do first rate
work in your department.
It is my impression that he would prefer the scientific professorship, provided a sufficient salary were paid, and give up
all his time to the teaching rather than teach clinically at a small salary and give most of his time to practice.
This view is not based upon any personal statement from him, but is derived from talks with his friends. Montreal expects
to lose him sooner or later.
He makes an admirable presentation of a subject to the association for the advancement of science.
He was admirable in his speeches at the dinner lately given at the McGill celebration, these are all the facts I can offer.