- Flint had a specialist interest in diseases of the heart and lungs and was a firm believer in the importance of clinical examination.
- In 1859 he wrote the first American textbook on heart disease, placing great detail on auscultation and description of murmurs
- Perhaps most notably, his name is attributed to the mid-diastolic aortic regurgitant murmur heard at the apex- the Austin Flint Murmur.
“The Watson of America” – – The Lancet (London)
- Born 20th October 1812, Petersham, Massachusetts
- 1832 – Graduated from Harvard Medical School.
- 1844 – Became Professor of Medical Theory and Practice at Rush Medical School, Chicago.
- 1845 – Founded and edited the Buffalo Medical and Surgical Journal.
- 1847 – Founded Buffalo Medical School.
- 1852 – Became Professor of the Theory and Practice of Medicine, University of Louisville.
- 1860 – Became Professor of Pathology and Practice Medicine at Long Island College Hospital in Brooklyn.
- 1861 – Helped found Bellevue Hospital and Medical School and became Professor of theoretical and practical medicine.
- 1883 – President of the American Medical Association.
- 1868 – Retired, but continued to teach until he died suddenly in 1886 of a cerebral haemorrhage after attending a meeting of the faculty of the Bellevue Medical College.
Key Medical Attributions:
- Among the first to recognise the importance of normal cardiac and respiratory sounds and encouraged routine auscultation on all patients.
- Flints Law, in which he recognised the importance of the pitch of percussion notes in clinical diagnosis. He determined the relationship of an elevated pitch and diminished percussion resonance in pulmonary consolidation.
- Austin Flint Murmur – mid-diastolic, low frequency murmur heard best at the apex with little radiation.
- Flint A. On variations of pitch in percussion and respiratory sounds, and their application to physical diagnosis : prize essay, 1852. [Original Archive Text]
- Flint A. A Practical Treatise on the Diagnosis, Pathology and Treatment of Diseases of the Heart. Blanchard and Lea, 1859. [Full Text]
- Flint A. On Cardiac Murmurs. In: American Journal of the Medical Sciences. Vol 44; pp29-54. July 1862. [Archive text pp29-54]
- Flint A. A treatise on the principles and practice of medicine : designed for the use of practitioners and students of medicine. 1868 [Archive text]
- Flint A. A text-book of human physiology. 1875 [Archive text]
- Flint A. A manual of percussion and auscultation : of the physical diagnosis of diseases of the lungs and heart, and of thoracic aneurism. 1876 [Archive Text]
- Flint A. Clinical medicine : a systematic treatise on the diagnosis and treatment of diseases: designed for the use of students and practitioners of medicine 1879. [Archive Text]
- Flint A. Medical ethics and etiquette : the code of ethics adopted by the American Medical Association. 1883. [Archive Text]
- Flint A. Medicine of the future; an address prepared for the annual meeting of the British medical association in 1886. New York, D. Appleton and company. 1886. [Original Text]
- Flint was a critic of eponymous names…
“So long as signs are determined from fancied analogies and named from those or after the person who describes them, there cannot but be obscurity and confusion”.
- Mehta NJ, Mehta RN, Khan IA. Austin Flint: Clinician, Teacher, and Visionary. Tex Heart Inst J. 2000; 27(4): 386–389. [PMC101108]
- Sternbach G, Varon J. Austin Flint: on cardiac murmurs. J Emerg Med. 1993 May-Jun;11(3):313-5. [PMID 8340588]
- Editorial: Austin Flint (1812-1886). Heart Views. 2011 Oct-Dec; 12(4): 183–184. [PMC3345159]
- Landis HRM. Austin Flint: his contributions to the art of physical diagnosis and the study of tuberculosis. Bull Johns Hopkins Hosp 1912;23:182–186 [Original Archive text]
- Evans AS. Austin Flint and his contributions to medicine. Bull Hist Med 1958;32:224–41.
- Obituary: Dr. Austin Flint, Physiologist, Dies. New York Times Archives. September 23, 1915. [Online Archive]
- Mehta NJ, Khan IA. Original descriptions of the classic signs of aortic valve insufficiency. J Emerg Med. 2003 Jan;24(1):69-72. [PMID 12554044]
- Ma I, Tierney LM. Name that murmur–eponyms for the astute auscultician. N Engl J Med. 2010 Nov 25;363(22):2164-8.[PMID 21105801]
- Malik PK, Ahmad M, Rani A, Dwivedi S. The men who picked the truant notes in heart sounds. Astrocyte 2015;1:305-8. [PDF]
LITFL Related Links
- Biographical Medical Eponyms – A-Z of eponymous medical pioneers
- Eponymictionary – Searchable Eponymictionary Database
- Medical Eponyms – A-Z of signs, syndromes, diseases and classifications
- Orthopaedic Eponyms – Eponymous orthopedic fractures and classifications
- Cardiac Eponyms – Eponymous cardiology collection