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May 1996

Henry Koplik, MD, the Good Samaritan Dispensary of New York City, and the Description of Koplik's Spots

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Pediatrics and Communicable Diseases, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor.

Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 1996;150(5):535-539. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1996.02170300089017

The field of pediatrics is literally filled with eponyms that both identify a particular disease (or sign, symptom, or anatomic structure) and pay homage to the person who first described it. Many of the eponyms we tend to cherish and use the most are connected to those individuals who were major and inspiring figures in their field at the time of the entity's description. After a period of many years, when the eponym becomes an established part of the medical lexicon, we may forget the people who inspired these enchanting labels, but we nevertheless cling dearly to them. One excellent example of this phenomenon is the life and career of Henry E. Koplik, MD, the New York, NY, pediatrician, author, teacher, and describer of the pathognomonic sign for measles—Koplik's spots.

BEGINNINGS  Henry Koplik was born in New York City on October 2, 1859. He received his undergraduate education at the