“At a medical school so steeped in tradition, Dean Gerard N. Burrow, M.D. ’58, knows full well how difficult it is to start a new one. But with the dean’s gift of a replica of John Radcliffe’s gold-headed cane, the school now has another tradition.

“ ‘After my first Yale Commencement as dean last year, I realized that we were the only school within the university not to have a standard to carry,’ the dean explains. So he presented to the school his own gold-headed cane, a gift from his chief residents when he left Toronto General Hospital. This cane was first carried May 23 at the Yale University Commencement. …

“The original cane was carried by John Radcliffe, an outstanding British physician. A year before he died in 1714, Dr. Radcliffe passed the cane on as a token of friendship to Dr. Richard Mead, a rising physician. The tradition of passing the cane continued until 1823, when the widow of Dr. Matthew Baillie presented the cane to the College of Physicians in London.”