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The centenary of the death of Sir William Osler1 provides a stimulus to considering ways in which his legacy lives on through the Fellowship of Postgraduate Medicine (FPM).
Osler was the founding president of the Postgraduate Medical Association (founded in 1911) and later of the Interallied Fellowship of Medicine2 (founded in late 1918). In view of their common aim of establishing permanent postgraduate medical education in the UK, the societies merged later in 1919, with Osler as president until his death at the end of that year. This joint organisation was initially called the Fellowship of Medicine and Post-Graduate Medical Association3 and continues to this day as the FPM.4
Osler was a lifelong promoter of postgraduate medical education. In the 1880s, in his role as a medical leader in North America,1 he pioneered hospital residency programmes for junior trainee doctors (see figures 1 and 2). As Regius Professor of Medicine in Oxford from 1905, Osler wished early postgraduate teaching in the UK, and in London, in particular, to include access to ‘the wealth of material at all the hospitals’.5 He also saw medical societies as important for providing reliable continuous medical development for senior doctors.
Under Osler’s leadership, the Fellowship of Medicine responded to demand for postgraduate civilian medical training after the First World War, supported by a general committee of 73 senior medical figures, with representatives from the British …
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