Albert Mason Stevens

Albert Mason Stevens

Albert Mason Stevens (1884 – 1945) was an American surgeon.

Born in Burma in 1884, he was a Rhodes Scholar 1905, surgeon in the trenches in France during WWI and a paediatrician clinician.

Along with Frank Chambliss Johnson (1894 – 1934), is eponymously affiliated with Stevens-Johnson syndrome


  • Born 1884 in Rangoon, India: The son of a Christian missionary
  • 1894 – Moved to the USA
  • 1905 – Bachelor of Arts Degree, Yale University
  • 1908 – Rhodes Scholarship, Balliol College Oxford University
  • 1915 – MD from College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University
  • During World War I served as an assistant surgeon, where he was captured by the Germans and repatriated to the US when the war was over
  • Worked at Bellevue Hospital, New York City
  • 1922 – First documented cases of ‘A new eruptive fever in children associated with stomatitis and opthalmia’ alongside colleague Frank Johnson
  • 1934 – Retired to grow tropical fruit in Hawaii
  • Died August 6, 1945

Key Medical Attributions:

  • For his first year of medical school Stevens turned down a scholarship of $125 a year ($4000 US today), asking that it was presented to another student more in need of the money.

Medical Eponyms

  • Stevens-Johnson syndrome (1922) – a generalized eruption, continued fever, inflamed buccal mucosa, and purulent conjunctivitis.

Major Publications


  • 1822 – Bazin A disease with similar findings was described by Alibert and Bazin in France in 1822 but left unnamed
  • 1844Ferdinand Ritter von Hebra grouped several cases into a condition he named erythema exudativum mutliforme: a febrile erythema occasionally involving mucous membranes [Translated archive text]
  • Multiple other physicians have documented cases of similar nature prior to the article published in 1922
  • The Commission on Acute Respiratory Diseases 1946 declared the eponym Stevens-Johnson syndrome was without historical accuracy
  • Albert Mason Stevens is most commonly recorded as a pediatrician – however, he was a surgeon


  • Hebra F. On diseases of the skin, including the exanthemata. 1866 [Translated text]
  • Bohigian, George M. 2015. The history of Stevens-Johnson Syndrome and a case study. St. Louis: Center for History of Medicine at Washington University School of Medicine, 2015
  • Bastuji-Garin S, Rzany B, Stern RS, Shear NH, Naldi L, Roujeau JC. Clinical classification of cases of toxic epidermal necrolysis, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, and erythema multiforme. Arch Dermatol. 1993 Jan;129(1):92-6. [PMID 8420497]
  • Thomas BA. So-called Stevens—Johnson Syndrome. Br Med J. 1950 Jun 17; 1(4667): 1393–1397. [PMC2038151]
  • Rzany B et al. Epidemiology of erythema exsudativum multiforme majus, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, and toxic epidermal necrolysis in Germany (1990-1992): structure and results of a population-based registry. J Clin Epidemiol. 1996 Jul;49(7):769-73. [PMID 8691227]
  • Mockenhaupt M. The current understanding of Stevens-Johnson syndrome and toxic epidermal necrolysis. Expert Rev Clin Immunol. 2011 Nov;7(6):803-13; quiz 814-5. [PMID 22014021]

eponymictionary CTA 2


the person behind the name

Posted by Dr Mike Cadogan

Emergency physician with a passion for medical informatics and medical education/textbooks. Asynchronous learning #FOAMed evangelist | @sandnsurf | + Mike Cadogan | LinkedIn

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.