- A dictionary of medical eponyms

Myron Firth Metzenbaum

Born  1876-04-01
Died  1944-24-01

Related eponyms

    American surgeon, born April 1, 1876, Cleveland, Ohio; died January 25, 1944.

    Biography of Myron Firth Metzenbaum

    Myron Firth Metzenbaum was the son of Joseph and Fanny Firth Metzenbaum. He attended the Adelbert College and the Case School of Applied Science. He received his Bachelor degree from the Ada University and his M.D. in 1900 from Case Western University. He then did post-graduate work in Vienna, Austria, and London.

    During his first week of medical school, Metzenbaum met the surgeon George Crile (1864-1944), who was searching for a volunteer to live in the hospital and be available to administer ether anesthesia to trauma patients. Realizing the need for emergent aid for seriously injured patients, he created a city-run ambulance service.

    Building his own practice in the Cleveland area, he specialized in oral and reconstructive surgery, soon developing a large referral base for cleft lip and palate repairs. He worked in the St. Alexis Hospital, and later in the Mt. Sinai Medical Center and the St. Luke Hospital. He also tgaught physicians and surgeons at the Cleveland College for Physicians and Surgeons (Medical Department of Ohio Wesleyan).

    On March 20, 1912 Metzenbaum married Elsa Puldheim. They had two children. Metzenbaum was the uncle of the US senator Howard Metzenbaum (1917-2008).

    Because Metzenbaum failed to apply for a patent, ”his” scissors are called ”Mao Tse Tung” Scissors in Red China, ”Mahatma Ghandi” Scissors in India, and "Her Majesty's Most Excellent Dissecing Scissors" in Great Britain.

    The scissors are used by clinicians in a large number of fields and have even been mentioned in popular media, like the TV Show M’A’S’H and the movie ”The man with two brains”.

    In 1904, Metzenbaum received Government Medal for original research in the medical value of radium.

    We thank Dr. Sharapov, Canada, and Robert P. Turk, MD, for information submitted.


    Radium: radioactive substances and aluminum, with experimental research of the same. Babbitt & Crummell, 1904.

    Umbilical hernia perforating the abdominal wall.
    The Journal of the American Medical Association, 1905, 45(18): 1327.

    Ether-air anesthesia or the drop method for the administration of ether. From an experience of six hundred and fifty cases.
    The Journal of the American Medical Association, 1906, 47 (20): 1653-1655.

    The comparative merits of several anesthetics.
    The Journal of the American Medical Association, 1912, 58 (3): 166-167.

    Scopolamin in nose and throat operations.
    The Laryngoscope, February 1915, 25 (2): 95-96.

    Some physical intra-nasal conditions favoring involvement of the nasal accessory sinuses. The Laryngoscope, December 1922, 32 (12): 943-947.
    Appeared simultaneously in The Ohio State Medical Journal.

    Atypical case of acute otitis media.
    The Laryngoscope, January 1926, 36 (1): 43-53.

    Acute inflammations of the middle ear.
    The Laryngoscope, November 1926, 36 (11): 809-811.
    Translated and abstracted from the German monograph, Krankheiten des äusseren und mittleren Ohres by Prof. Dr. Alfred Eduard Heinrich Brüggemann (1882-1971), Leipzig : G. Thieme, 1922.

    Asymmetry of the Nares: A Positive Diagnostic Sign or Entity Establishing Anatomic Displacement of Lower End of Cartilaginous Nasal Septum.
    Archives of Otolaryngology, 1932, 16: 690-697.

    Dislocation of the Lower End of the Nasal Septal Cartilage.
    Archives of Otolaryngology, 1936, 24: 78-85.

    Nasal reconstruction by means of the bone and cartilage existing within the old traumatized nose. The Laryngoscope, 1936, 40: 488-194.

    Ralph Metson:
    Myron F. Metzenbaum, MD: innovative surgeon, caring physician.
    Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery, 1994, 110:: 477-481.

    The Book of Clevelanders, A Biographical Dictionary of Living Men of the City of Cleveland. Burrows Book Company, 1914

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