He was born in Bond Head, Canada West (now Ontario), raised largely in Dundas, Ontario. As he grew into manhood, his aim was the ministry and to that end he entered Trinity College, Toronto in the autumn of 1867. However, his chief interest proved to be medicine and, forsaking his original intention, he enrolled in the Toronto School of Medicine. This was a proprietary, or privately owned, institution (not to be confused with the Medical Faculty of the University of Toronto), which was then not active as a teaching body. After two years at the Toronto School of Medicine , Osler came to McGill University in Montreal where he obtained his medical degree (MDCM) in 1872.
Osler subsequently taught at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, where he had obtained his medical degree in 1872. It is here that he created the first formalized journal club. In 1884 he was appointed Chair of Clinical Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia; in 1889 he became the first chief of staff at Johns Hopkins Hospital, and in 1893 one of the first professors of medicine at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.
In 1905 he was appointed to the Regius Chair of Medicine at Oxford, which he held until his death. Osler was created a baronet in 1911 for his great contributions to the field of medicine.
Osler was a prolific author and a great collector of books and other material relevant to the history of medicine. His most famous work is the Principles and Practice of Medicine, which appeared in many editions and translations for over 50 years. An inveterate prankster, he wrote several humorous pieces under the pseudonym Egerton Yorrick Davis, even fooling the editors of the Philadelphia Medical News with a report on the supposed phenomenon of penis...