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The stethoscope was invented in 1816 by the French physician R.T.H. Laennec, who, after three years of clinical observations, published his treatise in 1819. In his treatise, Laennec included details of his new method of using the stethoscope to provide physiological and pathological evaluation of patients. American physicians attended lectures and clinics at Paris hospitals and carried this information back to their respective medical schools and practices. This was accomplished by a relatively limited number of elite American physicians who were able to take advantage of travel abroad and whose practices were academically affiliated. However, it is a well-substantiated historical claim that the adoption of the stethoscope by most American physicians was slow. There are many reasons for slow adoption of the stethoscope in America, among which are lack of formal education, including bedside training in the stethoscope, complexity of interpretation of auscultatory information, hesitancy of the patient and physician to have an instrument placed between them, and lack of opportunities for continuing education for physicians after leaving medical school. As the nineteenth century progressed, scientific ideas and rhetoric related to auscultation and the stethoscope became more widespread, reflecting gradual acceptance and adoption of the stethoscope by American practitioners. In this article, I examine the ideas and rhetoric in medical journal articles, advertisements, and medical school textbooks to learn what was thought by physicians to be important in their practice. Advertisement of medical school curricula with mention of specific course work or lectures related to auscultation or the stethoscope is noted, reflecting increased interest in the stethoscope as an adjunct to physical examination. This information introduces evidence to test and bolster the existing historical claims of slow adoption of the stethoscope by addressing in more detail when and why adoption by American physicians became widespread.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Canadian bulletin of medical history = Bulletin canadien d'histoire de la medecine
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This is a prospective pilot study using a randomized, controlled, single blinded, crossover trial design, evaluating the effect of daily antimicrobial stethoscope diaphragm covers versus u...
This study will characterize the accuracy of a commercially available artificially-intelligent stethoscope in determining which childhood murmurs suggest underlying congenital structural h...
The objective of this study is to compare the relative capability of Stethee® (new wireless digital stethoscope) and 3M™ Littmann® Classic III™ (conventional stethoscope) in the iden...
This study will evaluate the accuracy of both an electronic stethoscope and electrocardiogram (ECG) to evaluate heart rate in neonatal patients in the delivery suite. The initial phase of...
Some newborn babies have difficulty breathing at birth and need help. When babies need help with breathing the clinical team, the team measures heart rate using a stethoscope to check its ...
In the late Middle Ages barbers who also let blood, sold unguents, pulled teeth, applied cups, and gave enemas. They generally had the right to practice surgery. They began to acquire importance about 1100, when the monks, who required the barber's services for the tonsure, also had recourse to them for blood-letting, a practice required by ecclesiastic law. By the 18th century barbers continued to practice minor surgery and dentistry and many famous surgeons acquired their skill in the shops of barbers. (From Castiglioni, A History of Medicine, 2d ed, pp402, 568, 658)
An ancient country in western Asia, by the twentieth century divided among the former USSR, Turkey, and Iran. It was attacked at various times from before the 7th century B.C. to 69 B.C. by Assyrians, Medes, Persians, the Greeks under Alexander, and the Romans. It changed hands frequently in wars between Neo-Persian and Roman Empires from the 3d to 7th centuries and later under Arabs, Seljuks, Byzantines, and Mongols. In the 19th century Armenian nationalism arose but suffered during Russo-Turkish hostilities. It became part of the Soviet Republic in 1921, with part remaining under Turkey. (Webster's New Geographical Dictionary, 1988)
Use of marketing principles also used to sell products to consumers to promote ideas, attitudes and behaviors. Design and use of programs seeking to increase the acceptance of a social idea or practice by target groups, not for the benefit of the marketer, but to benefit the target audience and the general society.
A drug-induced depression of consciousness during which patients respond purposefully to verbal commands, either alone or accompanied by light tactile stimulation. No interventions are required to maintain a patent airway. (From: American Society of Anesthesiologists Practice Guidelines)
Drug-induced depression of consciousness during which patients cannot be easily aroused but respond purposely following repeated painful stimulation. The ability to independently maintain ventilatory function may be impaired. (From: American Society of Anesthesiologists Practice Guidelines)