September 12, 1986

Eponym's 's: Argyll Robinson, Not pseudo-Turner, Was e. e. cummings' endocrinologist

Author Affiliations

The University of Maryland School of Medicine Baltimore

JAMA. 1986;256(10):1295. doi:10.1001/jama.1986.03380100069017

To the Editor.—  As much as I respect Victor Vaughan1 and his work at the National Board of Medical Examiners, as chairman of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology Part I (Psychiatry) Committee, I am obliged to disagree with his solution to the eponym 's problem. Our committee has agreed that our examination should be as "user friendly" as possible; therefore, for example, we list both generic and trade names of pharmacological agents so that the examination tests knowledge rather than memorization.In this spirit, we use the 's when usage, pleasantness of sound, and common sense call for it and don't use the 's when they don't. Thus, we specify "Argyll Robertson pupil" and "Tay-Sachs disease" but do not strain by using "Hodgkin disease," "Addison disease," and "Marfan syndrome." I wish the world always had simple answers to vexing problems, but I do think practice has the