About the Osler Society of London

“Fostering a greater appreciation of the history of medicine and its role in medical education”

The Osler Society at Western was founded as a permanent historical society at Western’s Medical School in the 1920s. It is named after Canadian doctor William Osler (1849-1919), who emerged as the ideal modern physician for his stance on the importance of practical instruction teaching in the laboratory, at the bedside and in the morgue. Osler’s The Principles and Practice of Medicine became a landmark textbook, going through eight editions in Osler’s lifetime and sixteen in total, and established him as the authority in modern medicine. His lay sermons include ethical and moral lessons relevant for physicians past and present.

Building on earlier traditions of the Medical Historical Society, the Osler Society at Western facilitates exchange among medical students and faculty through their engagement with various themes in the history of medicine. Facilitated by the Hannah Chair in the History of Medicine, this club is run by and for medical students and meets 5-6 times a year.


Archival material related to the Osler Society of London is deposited at Western Archives, Western University and an online finding aid is available on the Western Libraries website.