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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 142-143


Department of Cardiology, AIIMS, New Delhi, India

Date of Web Publication10-Sep-2018

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Karishma Landge
Department of Cardiology, AIIMS, New Delhi
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jpcs.jpcs_27_18

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Aequanimitas is an essay that was delivered as a valedictory address by Sir William Osler at the university of Pennsylvania school of medicine, it mainly guides us about the qualities a physician must have in his life.

Keywords: Equanimity, imperturbability, impassiveness

How to cite this article:
Landge K. Aequanimitas. J Pract Cardiovasc Sci 2018;4:142-3

How to cite this URL:
Landge K. Aequanimitas. J Pract Cardiovasc Sci [serial online] 2018 [cited 2021 Jan 21];4:142-3. Available from: https://www.j-pcs.org/text.asp?2018/4/2/142/240958

“In Patience ye shall win your souls.”

What is this patience? It's an equanimity which enables you to rise superior to the trials of life.

Doctors face a number of challenges, especially about the things you felt that were not taught in medical school. Education is important, but we must know “how to have our nerves well in the hands so that in any serious circumstances, the physician or a surgeon must be able to demonstrate the native act.”

AEQUANIMITAS - is Osler's famous essay and was first delivered as a valedictory address at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in 1889. Sir William Osler, 1st Baronet, a Canadian physician and one of the four founders of John Hopkins Hospital, said that one must urge to develop two qualities that is imperturbability and equanimity [Figure 1].[1],[2],[3],[4],[5],[6]
Figure 1: Sir William Osler.

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Equanimity is a Latin word Aequus means even, equal, calm, and Animus means soul or mind. The quality of having an even mindedness is nothing but equanimity or tranquillity. Whereas imperturbability is incapable of being upset or agitated. It means coolness or presence of mind under all circumstances, calmness amid the storm, immobility, unmoved, or impasiveness.

A very few of them have these qualities as a divine gift like we see in our elderly Surgeons and practitioners. “Imperturbability is largely a bodily endowment, I regret to say that there are those among you, who, owing to congenital defect, may never be able to acquire it.” Even with a lot of practice and experience the majority of us fail to attain such perfection.

“Educate your nerve center so that not the slightest dilator or contractor influence shall pass to the vessels of your face under any professional trail.” These qualities come with wide experience and intimate knowledge of the varied aspect of disease, with such advantage he is so equipped that no eventuality disturbs his mental equilibrium. One of the first essentials in securing a “good-natured equanimity is not to expect too much of the people amongst whom you dwell.”

“Equanimity” has a reference in Bhagawat Geeta as well, where Krishna teaches Arjuna about Karma yoga in the war field when Arjuna refuses to fight his own relatives, he says one must have these qualities-giving up of the fruits of action and equanimity (samatvam) towards gain or loss, victory, or defeat. So this suggests to enjoy our work.”

This essay is for anyone of us who is willing to stand up bravely even against the worst. And also, it helps to either contribute to our success or help you in the days of failure.

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Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

  References Top

Available from: http://www.medicalarchives.jhmi.edu/osler/aequessay.htm. [Last accessed on 2018 Jun 08].  Back to cited text no. 1
Pratt JH. Aequanimitas. Arch Intern Med (Chic) 1949;84:86-92.  Back to cited text no. 2
Cushing H. Life of Sir William Osler. Oxford: The Clarendon Press; 1926.  Back to cited text no. 3
Fitz R. A visit with osler. New England J Med 1946;234:617.  Back to cited text no. 4
Osler W. Bibliotheca Osleriana: A Catalogue of Books Illustrating the History of Medicine and Science. Oxford: Clarendon Press;1929.  Back to cited text no. 5
Osler W, McCrae T. Modern Medicine, its Theory and Practice. Philadelphia: Lea Brothers & Co.; 1907.  Back to cited text no. 6


  [Figure 1]


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