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JAMA 100 Years Ago
October 15, 2003

THE EVIL OF EPONYMS.

Author Affiliations
 

JAMA 100 Years Ago Section Editor: Jennifer Reiling, Assistant Editor.

JAMA. 2003;290(15):2072. doi:10.1001/jama.290.15.2072

GEORGE L. RICHARDS, M.D.
FALL RIVER, MASS.

As Chairman of the Section on Laryngology and Otology of the American Medical Association, I bid you, the members of this Section, a most cordial welcome to the Fifty-fourth Session of this Association and to the Fifteenth Session of this Section. . . .

It is customary at this time for the chairman to make a brief report of the general progress in his department for the preceding year. This was most ably done last year by my predecessor, Dr. Makuen, but, unfortunately, events have been such that I am unable to present to you any such review. I accordingly invite your attention for a few moments to a subject which I have not as yet heard discussed to any extent in any Section, yet which seems to me to need ventilating. I refer to the growing tendency with the advance of medicine and surgery to associate methods of treatment, and especially operations, with the names of their real or supposed originators, and to describe them under the heading of this or that person's operation or method of treatment. Laryngology and otology is not so great a sinner in this regard as some of the other specialties, yet we are far from guiltless, and much confusion results from this, the reader or auditor often being in doubt as to exactly what is meant by the particular operation described under someone's name.

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