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June 2018

“What’s in a Name?”—The Story Behind the Eponym Munchausen

Author Affiliations
  • 1Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Lubbock
JAMA Dermatol. 2018;154(6):716. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2018.0735

Munchausen syndrome is an eponymous designation used to describe the circumstances that occur when patients, with insight into their actions, intentionally inflict on themselves or attempt to mimic a medical condition to assume the role of the patient. While most patients with Munchausen syndrome attempt to simulate an internal or surgical disease, rarely there is a crossover of dermatitis artifacta and Munchausen syndrome. These syndromes can be frustrating and challenging for both the clinician and the patient. While the condition is very serious, the way it received its name is quite whimsical.

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