The Stethoscope

This instrument has become one of the main symbols of the medical profession. The origins of the stethoscope can be traced back to the French physician, Laënnec, who invented a crude model in 1819. It has undergone many modifications since then. The original consisted of a wooden box that served to help physicians hear the sounds within the chest cavity. In fact-the name stethos means chest in Greek.
Last Editorial Review: 2/1/2005