- A dictionary of medical eponyms

Related people

One of our frequent contributors is William Charles Caccamise Sr, MD, of Pittsford, New York, USA. Besides eponyms in his own specialty, ophthalmology, he has sent us this:

Early in my youth, my father - a general practitioner - familiarized me with Osler's Sign: the presence of a tattoo in a patient was an indicator of syphilis until proved otherwise. A supporting reference is: "In the 1800s, Sir William Osler viewed the presence of a tattoo on a patient as a sure sign of syphilis. He stated 'I often think that if I look closely enough at tattooings, I can see the track of the spirochete!'


H. E. MacDermot:
An Osler anecdote (letter). Certified Medical Assistant Journal, 1971, 105, 1129.

Referred to in, Terrence A. Cronin Jr:
Tattoos, Body Piercings and Other Skin Adornments.
Skin & Aging, volume 11, issue 4, April 2003.

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.