It’s no surprised that head winter are 2nd only come the stethoscope as one of the many recognizable symbols offered in artists’ renderings and Hollywood depictions the a physician. Or that, in most cases, head mirrors are incorrectly presented situated squarely in the center of the “doctor’s” forehead, much like a shiny, silver- bull’s eye instead of flipped under over one eye.

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What might be how amazing is that this iconic, international symbol of physicians has humble mid-eighteenth century origins, dating back to a French accoucheur named Levert who was fascinated through the intricacies the the larynx. And also although doctor’s offices have received more than a couple of technological facelifts because Levert an initial dabbled with mirrors in 1743, today’s head winter has withstood the check of time, resembling the one designed one century later, in the mid 1800s.

Despite demonstrating staying power that weathering the industrial transformation and decades of clinical advancements, however, some otolaryngologists inquiry if the head mirror can proceed to sustain that is relevance and also trump the younger technical sibling, the fiber optic headlight.

“I think we’ll view less and less the the head mirror,” stated Ron Karni, MD, assistant professor in the room of otorhinolaryngology at the university of Texas clinical School in ~ Houston. “If a medical professional is an ext comfortable v the mirror, then he or she should continue to usage it. However, battery-powered headlights provide excellent illumination, are reasonably cheap and also can be transported right into the hospital or from room come room in the office.”

D.J. Verret, MD, assistant clinical professor at the university of Texas Southwestern clinical School, recalled using head winter in exams throughout his residency years. Many of the residents he trained with still usage the head winter today, that said. “The head winter is terrific method for illuminating the nasal and also oral cavity and also mirror because that indirect laryngeal examination,” he added.


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“If a doctor is much more comfortable through the mirror, then he or she should proceed to usage it.”—Ron Karni, MD

Split Decision

One the the reasons headlights gained momentum at first is lock require much less finesse to change where the light is focused, essentially eliminating the need for hours of practice discovering to place the head mirror correctly.

“Headlights are easier to use because they don’t call for the training and experience that head winter do,” Dr. Karni said.

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Dr. Karni extolled the virtues the the built-in light source and its strength to totally free otolaryngologists indigenous their workplaces or a patient from the sit position. “It’s convenient the they don’t require a different light source,” he said.


Filed Under: Departments, home Slider, practice Management, tech Talk Tagged With: head mirror, headlights, product development, residents, technology, trainingIssue: September 2010