It’s no surprise that head mirrors are second only to the stethoscope as one of the most recognizable symbols used in artists’ renderings and Hollywood depictions of a physician. Or that, in most cases, head mirrors are incorrectly shown situated squarely in the middle of the “doctor’s” forehead, much like a shiny, silver bull’s eye instead of flipped down over one eye.
Explore this issue:September 2010
What may be surprising 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 with the intricacies of the larynx. And although doctor’s offices have received more than a few technological facelifts since Levert first dabbled with mirrors in 1743, today’s head mirror has withstood the test of time, resembling the one invented one hundred years later, in the mid 1800s.
Despite demonstrating staying power that weathered the industrial revolution and decades of medical advancements, however, some otolaryngologists question if the head mirror can continue to sustain its relevance and trump its younger technological sibling, the fiber optic headlight.| | | Next → | Single Page