The reality of Simon Forman's life is much more mundane, but it still makes for a good story for what it tells us about daily life during Shakespeare's times, especially the life of a successful physician. Forman was perhaps the first physician to keep detailed notes on the patients he saw. Although Forman was largely self-taught, as were many physicians of his day, he was also well read in the medical literature of the time. He did not read it uncritically, however. In his maturity, he took a practical, "experimental" approach to his practice, always trying to evaluate the efficacy of both diagnostic methods and treatment procedures. His casebooks were particularly useful to him in this regard. He was a careful observer, made meticulous notes, and learned from his experiences.