Consume your own smoke

Sir William Osler was a renowned nineteenth-century physician that Canada, the US and England all claim as their own.

He was born in Bond Head, Ontario and studied medicine at the University of Toronto and McGill, where he later taught. He went on to become the first head of medicine at Johns Hopkins Hospital and medical school in Baltimore in 1889. And in 1905, he was appointed Regius Professor of Medicine at Oxford University. 

Besides being a brilliant physician, much-loved teacher and enthusiastic medical historian, he was a prolific and articulate writer. I find his quotes on the practice of medicine quite wonderful, and this is one of my favourites:

Things cannot always go your way. Learn to accept in silence the minor aggravations, cultivate the gift of taciturnity and consume your own smoke with an extra draught of hard work, so that those about you may not be annoyed with the dust and soot of your complaint.

I briefly considered printing that off and hanging it in my clinic office as a reminder to myself and my colleagues, but quickly realized that patients might think the advice intended for them. While I wouldn't mind the list of complaints per visit being reduced from eight to two, the promotion of suffering in silence is the last message I want to convey to my refugee patients.

Better keep it in the home office, then. Or in the kitchen, where any whining children will be reminded to consume their own smoke.