French physician Rene Laënnec is well known for revolutionizing the world of medicine with his ground-breaking medical invention: the stethoscope. Prior to 1816, it was commonplace for physicians to place their ear against a patient's chest in an attempt to listen to the heart and lungs. Dr Laënnec’s stethoscope remains a crucial piece of equipment in modern medicine worldwide. Despite his place in history, one of Dr Laënnec’s lesser-known discoveries involves his pioneering work in dermatology and in the identification of the field’s most notorious killer: melanoma.
Eric L. Maranda, Alexandra Ayache, Jacqueline Cortizo, Mausam A. Patel, Jigar Patel, Joaquin Jimenez. Historical Identification of Melanoma—Dark, Deep, and Deadly. JAMA Dermatol. 2016;152(6):654. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2015.4906