- A dictionary of medical eponyms

Augustus Roi Felty

Born 1895
Died 1964

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American physician, 1895-1964.

Biography of Augustus Roi Felty

Augustus Roi Felty was born in 1895 in Abilene, Kansas, where both his father, J. W. Felty, and his uncle were in general practice. His father moved from Abilene, Kansas, to Hartford, Connecticut, where Augustus went to school. He entered Yale College in 1912, intending to become an academic in the classical languages, Greek and Latin. However, after hearing Sir William Osler lecture he changed plans. He graduated at Yale in 1916 and then commenced studying medicine at Johns Hopkins Medical School - obviously with great success - and graduated in 1929.

After an internship at the Osler service from 1920 to 1921 he went to Columbia Presbyterian Hospital in New York as research fellow. He returned as an assistant resident in medicine at the Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, from 1922 to 1924. It was during this period that he observed a patient with arthritis, splenomegaly and leukopenia, and he recognised that this was an unusual disease picture. He was well acquainted with the literature in which light splenomegaly associated with arthritis was already described by a plurality of observers. Felty also knew that leukopenia might occur with arthritis. The simultaneous occurrence of the three phenomena, however, was a new observation. Searching the hospital archives of journals he found four more cases, which he described in 1924 in the Johns Hopkins Hospital Bulletin. The eponym Felty’s syndrome was established by Hanrahan and Miller when they described the next case in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 1932.

He also published some papers on infectious diseases and epidemiology, but took over his father's practice in Hartford where he remained until he retired in 1958.

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