Austin Flint Sr., M.D.

  • Professor of the Theory and Practice of Medicine, 1852-1856

Austin Flint Sr., M.D.
Austin Flint Sr., M.D.
A fourth-generation physician, Austin Flint Sr. studied at Amherst and Harvard Colleges and received his MD from Harvard Medical School in 1833.

He practiced briefly in Boston and taught at Rush Medical College in Chicago, and then in Buffalo he founded and edited the Buffalo Medical Journal and helped found the Buffalo Medical College.

In 1852, he became chairman of the theory and practice of medicine at the University of Louisville. In 1856, he moved on to become a professor in Buffalo, New Orleans, and New York City and a founder of Bellevue Hospital Medical College.

He was highly regarded as an educator, and S.D. Gross said of him, "During his hour no student ever falls asleep."

He worked extensively on infectious diseases and espoused the bacterial theory of diseases. He developed techniques of percussion and auscultation of the heart and lungs along the lines of Auenbrugger and Laennec and was called "the American Laennec."

His treatise, Principles and Practice of Medicine (1856) survived seven editions, and the London Lancet praised his "indefatigable industry," also attested by his records which filled 16,922 pages.

Among many honors, he was president of the American Medical Association and of the New York Academy of Medicine.

- Written by Daryll Anderson