There’s been a custom in health to name diseases following the medical professional who initially identified or published on that disorder. In some cases the doctor named the condition after themselves that would be looked at relatively egotistic and other occasions it was provided with a physician’s name by their peers in recognition of the success, which may be looked at an honor. Just lately there has been a tendency away from calling disorders after doctors.

Many reasons exist for for this trend. These days research is more likely to be conducted by groups rather than individuals working by themselves, therefore it is tricky to credit an ailment to only one person. Occasionally in the past credit for a disorder went for the wrong physician and the disorder might have been explained by another individual prior to when the one which gets the recognition.

An illness which is named after a doctor doesn’t refer to the particular pathology or the underpinning biological mechanisms of the disease process which are generally significantly more helpful. As an example, it’s relatively simple to know what diseases such as acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (or AIDS) as well as whooping cough are simply based on the name. If these kinds of illnesses had been called after physcians, it would convey absolutely nothing with the underpinning pathology. In a number of instances there can be multiple disorders named after the same individual or the have the name. For instance, you can find twelve unique illnesses called after the neurologist, Dr Cushing.

At times a illness which is called after a person has something relating to history that it’s no more proper to name the problem after them. For instance, there was Reiter’s syndrome that has been called after Dr Reiter who was afterwards found guilty of war crimes for his medical experiments conducted at a Nazi concentration camp. The disorder that has been known as Reiter’s syndrome is currently more commonly named Reactive arthritis. In the same way, Wegener’s Granulomatosis had been called for Friedrich Wegener who was a Nazi physician. The term for the disease is now more often known as granulomatosis with polyangiitis when his Nazi links were found.

An additional example is Sever’s disease that is a painful disorder with the calcaneus bone in youngsters which is self-limiting. It was initially described by Dr J Severs in 1912. It’s not a disease, but the use of this terminology is potentially harmful to kids. It’s probably more correctly known as calcaneal apophysitis as the heel bone is technically referred to as calcaneus and the pathology is an inflammatory reaction in the apophysis (or growth zone).

The World Health Organization has now published guidelines on the calling of new diseases having an emphasis on an ideal practice to not identify conditions after individuals or geographical regions in order to prevent the impacts on those people and the areas as well as their economies and also to avoid stigmatization of people and parts. The best procedures says that a condition term should really consist of a generic descriptive term which might be based on the signs and symptoms that the condition brings about plus more specific descriptive words as soon as robust information is found on the way the illness presents or behaves.


SaleBestseller No. 2
Medical Terminology: Learn to Pronounce, Understand and Memorize Over 2000 Medical Terms
  • Audible Audiobook
  • Matt Clark (Author) - Jim D. Johnston (Narrator)
SaleBestseller No. 3
Medical Terminology: A Short Course, 8e
  • Chabner BA MAT, Davi-Ellen (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

I get commissions for purchases made through links on this website. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Staff Author
I manage the admin at this site and post articles of interest.
follow me