Sir William Osler, the founder of modern medicine, believed not only in
the importance of a sound scientific understanding of the human body,
but also in the importance of developing a strong professional
relationship with each patient. Just as Osler brought residents and
medical students to the bedside to learn medicine, The Osler Project
brought UTMB students to the bedside to exercise their minds and spirits
in humanistic efforts and united them in the common interest of Osler's
compassion. As Osler said in an address to the students of the Albany
Medical College in 1899, "Be careful when you get into practice to
cultivate equally well your hearts and your heads."
The idea of The Osler Project was developed in the fall of 2005
during a brainstorming session for possible volunteer activities by
Osler Student Scholars and the pilot POM-1 Osler Student Society group.
Their aim was to give pediatric patients an activity to make their stay
in the hospital more positive and to get UTMB students involved with
patients outside of academic interactions. With the help of Drs. Mark
Holden and Judith Aronson, Scholars in the John P. McGovern Academy of
Oslerian Medicine, along with artist Julie Weldon and the Pediatric
Child Life Program, The Osler Project decided to create a beach-scene
mosaic from ceramic tiles painted by pediatric patients and their
families. Individual kits with all the necessary supplies to paint a
tile were distributed to patients, and students assisted and/or painted
with the children in their free time.
The project was completed in the summer of 2008, just weeks prior to
hurrican Ike, and is proudly on display in the first floor entrance of the Primary Care Pavilion, entrance A.