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March 22, 1995

Understanding Lung Sounds

Author Affiliations

University of Alberta Edmonton

JAMA. 1995;273(12):971. doi:10.1001/jama.1995.03520360085049

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Steven Lehrer's introduction to auscultation is a primer of pulmonary diagnosis using lung sounds as its unifying theme. Intended to educate the ear as much as the mind, his kit is a self-contained learning experience for the medical student. It may also be useful for critical care and pulmonary service nurses. The kit is an excellent learning system and is highly recommended as an introduction to the topic.

The book begins with an homage by Victor McKusick to the Golden Age of auscultation, introduced by René Théophile Hyacinthe Laënnec in 1816. The sketch is too brief to elaborate on the fascinating history of auscultation, which at the time was a monumental undertaking. Laënnec codified his work in 1819 in his book Traité de l'auscultation médiate, an effort that exhausted him and extracted a two-year period of recovery from his career. Laënnec was a pupil of Jean Nicholas Corvisart, the leading

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