The Resident Patient


Basic Information

Abbreviation: RESI (J. F. Christ, 1947)
Word length: 7,355 (C. E. Lauterbach, 1960)
First published: Strand Magazine, August 1893; Harper's Weekly, August 12, 1893
Karen Murdock writes: I adore the little textual variants between one version of the Canon and another! In the original published version of "The Resident Patient," in the Strand magazine, Holmes and Watson return from an evening stroll and notice a strange brougham at their door. "Hum! A doctor's—general practitioner, I perceive," said Holmes. "Not been long in practice, or had much to do. Come to consult us, I fancy!"

In the Doubleday Canon, the second line is rendered as "Not been long in practice, but has a good deal to do," which changes the meaning completely. In the John Murray (and Baring-Gould Annotated) version, the line reads, "Not been long in practice, but has had a good deal to do"—yet a third meaning.

Redmond's Question

Watson presents himself as a medical man, and this tale is the most medical of all 60 Canonical stories. What can be inferred from it about Watson's professional abilities, his medical interests, his medical career, and his likely success as a practitioner?