The glass stethoscope

Milton G Roxanas
Med J Aust 2011; 195 (11): . || doi: 10.5694/mja11.11007
Published online: 12 December 2011

It has been the ambition of physicians since the origin of time to diagnose illness and internal pathology by some external means. The ancients used observation, palpation, succussion, the pulse, mensuration, uroscopy and later percussion but the first instrument to examine the inside the body in a non-invasive way was the stethoscope, which was devised by René Théophile Hyacinthe Laennec (1781–1826).

  • Milton G Roxanas

  • Department of Psychiatry, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW.



I thank Richard Golden (New York) for encouraging me to write this article and for his suggestions to improve it, and M Donald Blaufox (New York) for his book and helpful comments. The assistance of librarians Kaye Lee (Concord Hospital) and Liz Rouse (Royal Australasian College of Physicians) in locating obscure references is gratefully acknowledged. I also thank my daughter-in-law Chantale Roxanas for her photography.


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