John Englebert Dunphy

John Englebert Dunphy (1908 – 1981) was an American surgeon.

Served as chairman of the American Board of Surgery, Board of Regents of the American College of Surgeons and received 10 honorary degrees including six honorary fellowship


  • Born 1908 Northampton, Massachusetts.
  • 1933 – MD, Harvard Medical School
  • 1955 – Professor of Surgery, Harvard Medical School
  • Died 1981

Medical Eponyms

Dunphy sign (1953)

[AKA *cough test; *coughing test ] increased abdominal pain, localised to the right lower quadrant, with coughing

The patient should first be asked to cough. In the presence of acute peritoneal inflammation this usually elicits a sharp twinge of pain localized to the involved area. It is extremely valuable to elicit this “cough tenderness” and have the patient point with one finger to the exact area of pain. This localizes the area of inflammation before the examiner so much as touches the patient

Dunphy 1975

Major Publications

  • Dunphy JE, Botsford TW. Physical Examination Of The Surgical Patient. 1953: 123-124
  • Dunphy JE, Botsford TW. Examination of the abdomen. III. The appraisal of abnormal findings. In: Physical Examination of the Surgical Patient. An Introduction to Clinical Surgery. 1975.136-146.


eponymictionary CTA


the person behind the name

Emergency physician MA (Oxon) MBChB (Edin) FACEM FFSEM with a 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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