- A dictionary of medical eponyms

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Usually referred to as The Copeland Streak Retinoscope. The streak retinoscope was introduced by Copeland in the early 1920s. He invented it after having dropped an original Wolff spot retinoscope on the floor and damaged the bulb filament. When reexamining the schematic eye that he was working with, he noted a difference in the reflexes. From this observation he went on to design ”his” retinoscope and the streak retinoscopic technique that is taught today. He patented his design in 1927. Copeland’s instrument was a unique design that was not improved upon for 40 years, and then by Copeland himself.

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.

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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.


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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.