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Lehrbuch der Ohrenheilkunde für Ärzte und Studierende

Nature volume 81, pages 124125 (29 July 1909) | Download Citation



THE name of Dr. Paul Ostmann is well known to otologists, not only in Europe, but in the British Islands and the United States. A text-book upon diseases of the ear from his pen is, therefore, welcome, even though it be disappointing. Like all text-books which hail from the German Empire, however, it is marked by that peculiar German conceit which, whilst giving ample prominence to the work of compatriots, ignores, or, at the most, dismisses with curt comment, that of equally prominent scientific labourers of other countries. Dr. Paul Ostmann's text-book abounds with references to German aural surgeons, but in all its 533 pages only some seventeen British or American otologists receive mention, and the names of some of these are spelled incorrectly. Picking out, from motives of curiosity, the names quoted from among those surgeons who belong to our own country, we find that Handfield Jones, Toynbee, Hinton, Ogston, Macewen, Walker Downie, Dundas Grant, and Yearsley alone receive acknowledgment for their work, whilst Cheatle, Pritchard, Barr, and many other names of equal lustre in the domain of diseases of the ear are ignored completely. In a work issued at the present time, when so much, that is of lasting value has been done for the advancement of otology, one expects to find mention at least of that which fairly may be described as epoch-making. Yet the pioneer work of Lake, Marriage, Armour, and Yearsley in operations upon the labyrinth for the relief of distressing and incurable vertigo and tinnitus receives no attention, whilst the still more recent researches of Bárány are barely noticed, and those of West, Scott, Crum-Brown, and Alexander are passed over in silence.

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