[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
August 20, 1982

Memoirs of an Old Physician

JAMA. 1982;248(7):880-881. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03330070068043

This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.


To the generations of physicians who learned their medicine with an eponymic flavor, the name of Kussmaul will always be associated with the deep, slow respirations occasionally seen in profound diabetic acidosis. Yet, this gentle German physician, who practiced for many years as a "country doctor" before becoming a distinguished professor, also was the first to describe periarteritis nodosa, introduced the concept of paradoxical pulse, and was a pioneer in the use of the stomach tube.

However, one would never know this from this unique autobiography. This translation is one of a series of classics in the history of medicine funded through the National Library of Medicine and the American Association for the History of Medicine. A few years before his death at the age of 80 in 1902, Adolph Kussmaul wrote his reminiscences of his childhood, his student life in Heidelberg, including medical training, his licensure examinations, travels, service