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Editorials |

JOSEPH SKODA (1805-1881)— PHYSICAL DIAGNOSTICIAN

JAMA. 1964;190(3):240. doi:10.1001/jama.1964.03070160064020.
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Joseph Skoda described the drum-like sound in auscultation of the chest in patients suffering from pneumonia and pericardial effusion. As one of the leading teachers in the revitalized Viennese Medical School, he also extended and exploited the pragmatic value of physical examination developed by the physicians of the Parisian school. Joseph was born in Pilsen, Bohemia, the son of a locksmith, who lacked funds to provide higher education for his children.1 However, it is reasonable to assume that the parents must have passed on a rich intellectual heritage and an urge to excel; for in subsequent years, each of the three sons acquired stature, respect, and an enviable position in society. Joseph and his older brother, Franz, studied medicine, the latter advancing to public health officialdom and a royal title. The younger brother, Johann, turned to heavy industry and founded the Skoda steel works in Pilsen, one of the

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