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Books, Journals, New Media
September 25, 2002

The StethoscopeAn Ear to the Chest: An Illustrated History of the Evolution of the Stethoscope

Author Affiliations

Harriet S.MeyerMD, Contributing EditorDavid H.MorseMS, Journal Review EditorRobertHoganMD, adviser for new media


Not Available


Copyright 2002 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.2002American Medical Association


by M. Donald Blaufox, 145 pp, with illus, $74.95, ISBN 1-85070-278-0, Boca Raton, Fla, Parthenon Publishing Group, 2002.

JAMA. 2002;288(12):1530. doi:10.1001/jama.288.12.1530-JBK0925-2-1

Dr M. Donald Blaufox has written the definitive work about the evolution of the stethoscope. In clear prose he describes the remarkable figures who argued about the stethoscope's superiority over immediate auscultation.

Physicians also argued when the binaural stethoscope was introduced. Some believed that the unequal acuity of the two ears would interfere with the use of such an instrument.

The author includes discussion of the people who have introduced new stethoscopes and tells fascinating stories about them. The photographs of stethoscopes are arresting. I believe the two stethoscopes that have been invented during the last few decades are missing. For example, Leathan and Harvey have added to the evolution of the stethoscope and its use but are not mentioned.

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