Edward Harry Bishop (1913-1995) was an American obstetrician and gynecologist

Author of 50 original research articles, principally concerning Doppler ultrasonic fetal monitoring, intrauterine transfusion, management of premature labor, cesarean section mortality, acceleration of fetal pulmonary maturity with steroids, induction of labor, and the quality of perinatal care in North Carolina, and induction of labor.

Bishop was one of the first physicians to treat the fetus with an intrauterine transfusion and one of the first obstetricians to deal with genetic diagnosis of the fetus.

Eponymously remembered for the Bishop Score (1964), a method to evaluate the cervix in regard to the success or failure of induction of labor.

  • Born on June 13, 1913 in Bethlehem, New Hampshire
  • 1937 – MD, Dartmouth College and Medical School
  • Completed training in obstetrics and gynecology at the Methodist Hospital in Philadelphia
  • Professor of obstetrics and chief of perinatology at the North Carolina Memorial Hospital and the University of North Carolina
  • Died on December 10, 1995

Medical Eponyms
Bishop Score (1964)

In the 1960s elective induction of labor became increasingly common. Proponents claimed a short, easy, and con­venient labor associated with a minimal and an acceptable perinatal mortality. Others condemned the practice as dangerous, incurring an un­necessary risk to both the mother and her child.

Bishop determined that differences in results resulted from variations in the method of selecting suitable candidates. In 1964 he presented his method of selecting suitable candidates for elective induction of labour.

Bishop maintained that induction only be considered in cases of multiparity; >36 weeks gestation; vertex presentation; normal previous and present obstetric history; and advance knowledge and permission of the patient.

…determination of suitability for elective induction is made by evaluation of certain pelvic factors which usually presage the spontaneous onset of labor. Such factors are dilatation, effacement, consistency, and position of the cervix, and the station of the presenting part.

…one may estimate the expected date of delivery more accurately than by the traditional methods. Such a scoring system is of extreme value in determining the opti­mum time for elective induction of labor and for elective repeat cesarean section. Scores which appear unrelated to the expected date of delivery may forewarn the obstetrician of the possibility of either premature labor or postmaturity

Bishop 1964

Key Medical Contributions

Major Publications




Eponymous terms

Cite this article as: Jessica Hiller and Mike Cadogan, "Edward Bishop," In: LITFL - Life in the FastLane, Accessed on September 24, 2022, https://litfl.com/edward-bishop/.


the person behind the name

Associate Professor Curtin Medical School, Curtin University. Emergency physician MA (Oxon) MBChB (Edin) FACEM FFSEM Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital.  Passion for rugby; medical history; medical education; and asynchronous learning #FOAMed evangelist. Co-founder and CTO of Life in the Fast lane | Eponyms | Books | Twitter |

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