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December 20, 1913

Stethophone, Not Stethoscope

Author Affiliations

Pittsburgh, Pa.

JAMA. 1913;61(25):2260. doi:10.1001/jama.1913.04350260058026

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To the Editor:  —Hippocrates employed immediate auscultation. Laënnec conceived the idea that mediate auscultation is practicable, and first used a roll of paper between his ear and the patient's chest. Later he constructed the monaural stethoscope, which is still the favorite instrument of many clinicians in Europe.From the days of Laënnec (1816) up to the present, for the last ninety-seven years, the instrument has been called the stethoscope. The word is of Greek origin. It is compounded of [unk], breast, chest, and [unk] inspect, see. The word "stethophone" would be compounded of stethos and the suffix phone, which means sound or voice.In the days preceding the ophthalmoscope, the auriscope, cystoscope, gastroscope, bronchoscope or the phoneidoscope, and in the days preceding the telephone, graphophone, dictaphone and microphone, the word stethoscope need not perhaps have been criticized; but in the present day I believe it is just as well that

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