- A dictionary of medical eponyms

James Bray Costen

Born 1895
Died 1962

Related eponyms


American otorhinolaryngologist, born 1895, Tennessee; died 1962.

Biography of James Bray Costen

James Bray Costen was born in Tennessee but grew up in Arkansas. While in high school, he was apprenticed to a local physician who taught him to give open drop anaesthesia for office procedures and dressing changes.

After high school, attended Virginia Military Institute, but when his father became ill one year later he returned and attended the University of Arkansas. He graduated the Department of Chemistry. He then went to Washington University in St Louis, Missouri, which was affiliated with St Louis Medical College.

When the United States entered the war in 1917 Costen volunteered. After his return he completed medical school and then went to Vienna to study at the Allgemeines Krankenhaus in Vienna. From Vienna he went to Basel, Switzerland, where he concentrated on the mastoid bone and its dissection.

Back in St. Louis, he married Carolyn Thompson. They had one son and three daughters.

Costen practised for about one year with another otolaryngologist, then settled in solo practice in midtown St. Louis and remained there for the rest of his career.

What is an eponym?

An eponym is a word derived from the name of a person, whether real or fictional. A medical eponym is thus any word related to medicine, whose name is derived from a person.

What is Whonamedit?

Whonamedit.com is a biographical dictionary of medical eponyms. It is our ambition to present a complete survey of all medical phenomena named for a person, with a biography of that person.


Whonamedit? does not give medical advice.
This survey of medical eponyms and the persons behind them is meant as a general interest site only. No information found here must under any circumstances be used for medical purposes, diagnostically, therapeutically or otherwise. If you, or anybody close to you, is affected, or believe to be affected, by any condition mentioned here: see a doctor.