Did Sir William Osler perform an autopsy at the Johns Hopkins Hospital?

Brendan P. Lucey, Grover M. Hutchins

Research output: Contribution to journalShort surveypeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Sir William Osler was the preeminent internist of his time, who also worked as a pathologist for a considerable period during his career. Between 1876 and 1889, he performed nearly 1000 autopsies in Montreal, Quebec, and Philadelphia, Pa. Many authors concluded that Osler stopped performing autopsies once he moved to Baltimore, Md, because the autopsy service was organized under William Welch, the professor of pathology. However, this assertion has been contradicted by a recent biography of Dr Osler. To reexamine this issue, the autopsy records of The Johns Hopkins Hospital and relevant publications were examined. The evidence suggests that Dr Osler was an enthusiastic, and sometimes engaged, observer of Hopkins autopsies but that he did not function as an autopsy prosector.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)261-264
Number of pages4
JournalArchives of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2008


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