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The narrator (Jerome) believes himself to have had most of the diseases he'd read about in the medical book he perused at the British museum. Thus, he saw himself as a walking hospital and an excellent source of study.
"I sat and pondered. I thought what an interesting case I must be from a medical point of view, what an acquisition I should be to a class! Students would have no need to “walk the hospitals,” if they had me. I was a hospital in myself. All they
need do would be to walk round me, and, after that, take their diploma."
Three Men in a Boat (To Say Nothing of the Dog)