February | Wednesday | 17, 2016 :: Google Pays Tribute to Rene Laennec [ the inventor of stethoscope ] On His 235th Birthday with a Doodle
René-Théophile-Hyacinthe Laennec ( 17 February 1781 – 13 August 1826) was a French physician. He invented the stethoscope in 1816, while working at the Hôpital Necker and pioneered its use in diagnosing various chest conditions.
He became a lecturer at the Collège de France in 1822 and professor of medicine in 1823. His final appointments were that of Head of the Medical Clinic at the Hôpital de la Charité and Professor at the Collège de France. He died of tuberculosis in 1826 at the age of 45.
Laennec was born in Quimper (Brittany). His mother died of tuberculosis when he was five or six years, and he went to live with his great-uncle the Abbé Laennec (a priest). At the age of twelve, he proceeded to Nantes where his uncle, Guillaime-François Laennec, worked in the faculty of medicine at the university. Laennec was a gifted student. He learned English and German and began his medical studies under his uncle’s direction.
His father (a lawyer) later discouraged him from continuing as a doctor and René then had a period of time where he took long walks in the country, danced, studied Greek and wrote poetry. However, in 1799 he returned to study. Laennec studied medicine in Paris under several famous physicians, including Dupuytren and Jean-Nicolas Corvisart-Desmarets. There he was trained to use sound as a diagnostic aid. Corvisart advocated the re-introduction of percussion during the French Revolution.