Tag Archives: stethoscope

Ode to my stethoscope

Hilton Koppe Lennox Head, Australia   Poet’s note My Littman stethoscope has accompanied me on my journey in medicine across five decades into premature medical retirement. It was definitely more difficult to lay down my stethoscope than it had been for me to recommend medical retirement to many of my patients. This poem includes a […]

Measure of the heart: Santorio Santorio and the Pulsilogium

Richard de Grijs Daniel Vuillermin Beijing, China   Pulsilogium (center; line with a weight tied to a finger alongside a ruler) and thermoscope (right). (Sanctorius, S., 1626, Commentaria in primamFen primi libri CanonisAvicennae, Venice: Sarcina, p. 22. Woodcut and text; Credit: Wellcome Library, London) The heart is a musical organ. The irregularity of one’s inhalation and […]

Samuel A. Levine

Philip R. Liebson Chicago, Illinois, United States   In an era where the use of imaging and other technological testing frequently takes the place of bedside diagnosis, it is intriguing to recall the state of cardiovascular diagnosis when the clinician relied on his or her eyes, ears, and hands—with a little help from the stethoscope […]

René Théophile Hyacinthe Laënnec and the stethoscope

Philip R. Liebson Chicago, Illinois, United States Laennec examines a consumptive patient with a stethoscope in front of his students at the Necker Hospital, 1816 Théobald Chartran   What constitutes a high-tech instrument? Obviously, in the field of medicine, one that has been developed to improve evaluation of a given condition and lead to a […]

The history of the stethoscope

 MAS Ahmed Romford, United Kingdom Victoria Turnock London, UK Laennec’s stethoscope circa 1819. No other symbol is as entwined with the concept of being a doctor as the stethoscope. It is currently one of the most widely used tools that doctors and nurses use for diagnostic purposes. Before its invention auscultation was done by placing […]

The stethoscope

Fiona Robertson Scotland, United Kingdom   Laennec, at the Hospital Necker examining a consumptive patient by auscultation Painting by Théobald Chartran (1849–1907)     One of the most iconic tools of the medical profession is the stethoscope. Here we see René-Théophile-Hyacinthe Laennec, a French physician, using his prototype monoaural stethoscope. It was a wooden cylinder […]