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Little is known about Wolfgang Hoefer, but he is given a page in pediatric history on account of his description of cretinism, probably the first extended account of that condition. His father was a professor of medicine. Wolfgang was born in Freising in upper Bavaria. He studied medicine at Ingolstadt, and, after traveling in Italy and France, settled there. Like many of the physicians of his time he practiced in various places, in Straubing, in Linz, at Raab in Hungary, and finally in Vienna, where he was made K. K. Hofrath. His one book, entitled "Hercules medicus, sive locorum communium, tomus unicus," was published in Vienna in 1657, and reprinted there in 1664 and also at Nuremberg in 1665 and 1675.
The cretin, when he has a goiter, as in those described by Hoefer, reminds one, as Osler once remarked, of the description in Shakespeare's "Tempest."
Dew-lapp'd like bulls,
RUHRAH J. WOLFGANG HOEFER 1614-1681. Am J Dis Child. 1929;38(4):834–836. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1929.01930100154018
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