This is the website of Auckland GP Jeremy Steinberg

Enjoy this painting by Robert Alan Thom of Renee Laennec, the inventor of the stethoscope. Here he is demonstrating the technique of auscultation médiate (direct auscultation). Previously doctors used only the techniques of percussion and auscultation immediate (auscultation with the ear directly on the chest). He had complete mastery over the device and would put any modern doctor to shame.

This technique was groundbreaking at the time but did have its naysayers. I view bedside ultrasound as being completely analogous and it should in time become an indispensable item in the doctors bag.

That it will ever come into general use, notwithstanding its value, I am extremely doubtful; because its beneficial application requires much time, and gives a good deal of trouble both to the patient and the practitioner

– John Forbes M.D, in preface to Laennac’s first treatise on the stethoscope.

Jack of all organs, master of none,

though oftentimes better than master of one.