Adolf Kussmaul, whose name is associated with the hyperpnea of diabetic coma, was a country practitioner with a fervent desire for a career in academic medicine. This was satisfied in proper time with professorships of medicine at Heidelberg, Erlangen, Freiburg, and Strassburg, where, in each post, he made one or more notable contributions to clinical medicine.1 He differentiated symptoms associated with mercurialism from those of syphilis,2 was the first to use the term "periarteritis nodosa," introduced the concept of paradoxical pulse in the clinical description of obstructive pericarditis, discussed gastric tetany, and prepared a monograph on disorders of speech.
Adolf was born in Baden near Karlsruhe. His grandfather was a surgical dresser and an army surgeon. His father, after serving his time as a military surgeon, took postgraduate training in anatomy, physiology, and clinical medicine. Such an interest in medical practice and medical science was passed on to