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Austin Flint

Born  1812
Died  1886

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American physician, born October 20, 1812, Petersham, Massachusets; died March 13, 1886, Brooklyn, New York.

Biography of Austin Flint

Austin Flint, a pioneer of heart research in the U.S., was one of the most eminent of 19th century physicians. Flint made several important contributions to the knowledge of diseases of the heart and the respiratorial system. He is also said to have coined the term broncho-vesicular breathing.

Austin Flint studied at the Harvard University, where he was influenced by the teacher, James Jackson (1777-1868), who was a follower of René Théophile Hyacinthe Laënnec (1781-1826). He graduated in 1832. He first practised in Boston, but moved to Buffalo, New York as a practitioner. He achieved a great reputation and was one of the founders of the Buffalo Medical College, to which he was appointed professor. In 1861 he became professor of theoretical and practical medicine at the school of medicine at the Bellevue Hospital, New York, later at the medical school of the Long Island Hospital in Brooklyn, where he died in 1886 as one of the most distinguished physicians of North America.

From 1861 to 1886 Austin Flint was professor of medicine at the Bellevue Hospital Medical College, New York City, and president of the American Medical Association from 1883 to 1883. In these capacities, as well as a researcher and physicians he had a great influence on the early course of medicine in the Unites States. A proponent of improved European diagnostic methods, he popularised the binaural stethoscope in the U.S. His Treatise on the Principles and Practice of Medicine (1866) is recognised as a medical classic.

His son Austin (1836-1915), a prominent physiologist, made important studies of liver function and wrote the popular A textbook of Human Physiology (1876). He was professor of physiology at the Medical College in New York.

Austin Flint was a prolific writer, and a collaborator in the American Cyclopedia, and 1872 president of the Academy of Medicine in New York.

We thank Erich Hanel for correcting an error.


  • Prize Essay. On the variations of pitch in percussion and respiratory sounds. etc. Buffalo, 1852.
  • Clinical reports on chronic pleurisy, etc. Buffalo, 1853.
  • Clinical report on dysentery, etc. Buffalo, 1853.
  • Physical exploration and diagnosis of diseases affecting the respiratory organs. Philadelphia, 1856.
  • On cardiac murmurs.
    American Journal of the Medical Sciences, Philadelphia, 1862, 44: 29-54.
    Reprinted in Medical Classics, 1940, 4: 864-900.
  • Compendium of percussion and auscultation etc. New York. 4th edition, 1869.
  • Clinical report on hydro-peritoneum based on an analysis of forty-six cases.
    The American Journal of the Medical Sciences, Hagerstown, Maryland, 1863, 45: 306-339. Heyd's syndrome.
  • Contributions relating to the causation and prevention of diseases, and to camp-diseases; etc. New York, 1867.
  • A practical treatise on the diagnosis, pathology, and treatment of diseases of the heart. Philadelphia, 1859.
  • A Treatise on the Principles and Practice of Medicine. 1866.
  • Contributions relating to the causation and prevention of diseases, and to camp-diseases; etc.
    New York, 1867. Written on assignment of the U. S. Sanitary Commission.
  • Essays on conservative medicine and kindred topics.
    Philadelphia, 1874.
  • Phthisis; its morbid anatomy, etiology, etc.
  • Clinical medicine; a systematic treatise on the diagnosis and treatment of diseases.
    Philadelphia, 1879.
  • Medical ethics and etiquette. The code of ethics adopted by the Am. Med. Assoc. New York, 1883.
  • The mitral cardiac murmurs.
    American Journal of the Medical Sciences, Philadelphia, 1886, 91: 27-44.
We thank Patrick Jucker-Kupper, Switzerland, for information submitted.

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