- A dictionary of medical eponyms


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Originally Mesmer’s theory of animal magnetism. Mesmer deluded himself into believing that he possessed occult healing powerss. At first he used to stroke his patients with magnets, but later he used only his hands, believing that he possessed an «animal magnetism». His system of therapeutics, mesmerism, is a forerunner of modern practices using hypnotism; it contributed to create a foundation for the scientific study of psychopathology. The term now refers to therapy using hypnosis or hypniotic suggestion.


  • F. A. Mesmer:
    Mémoire sur la découverte du magnétisme animal.
    Pamphlet. Geneva and Paris, 1779.
    German translation, Karlsruhe, 1781; also published in French in Karlsruhe.
    This book launched a seemingly unstoppable avalance of parapsychological quackery.

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.