John Hay (1873 – 1959) was an English physician.

Dr John Hay kymographically recorded simultaneous jugular venous and radial arterial pulses of a 65-year-old man with a slow pulse. He was the first to record a form of second degree atrioventricular (AV) block that is now better known as Mobitz type II AV block

Keen and skilled violinist, gardener, bee-keeper, caricaturist and painter

  • Born November 25, 1873 in Birkenhead, England
  • 1895 – Diploma in Medicine, University College of Liverpool
  • 1896 – MBChB, Victoria University of Manchester, with honours
  • 1901 – MD, Victoria University of Manchester
  • 1904 – MD, University of Liverpool
  • 1906 – Assistant physician to Liverpool Royal Infirmary
  • 1907 – Six months post-graduate study under Wenckebach at Freiburg
  • 1906-1913 Editor of the Liverpool Medico-Chirurgical Journal
  • 1907 – Founding member of the Association of Physicians
  • 1914 – Founded the Heart Clinic at Liverpool Royal Infirmary
  • 1915 – Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians
  • 1922 – Founding member of the Cardiac Club (Renamed the British Cardiac Society in 1937)
  • 1924-1934 Chair of medicine at University of Liverpool
  • 1928 – Chairman of the Cardiac Club, also in 1932 and 1948
  • 1948 – President of the Association of Physicians
  • Died April 21, 1959 in Bowness-on-Windermere aged 85

Notable as the many academic distinctions were that came to him during his long life, his greatest achievement was the friendly warmth and youthful sincerity of his personality.

Lancet 1959

Medical Eponyms
Second-degree Atrioventricular block

1906 – Hay kymographically recorded simultaneous jugular venous and radial arterial pulses of a 65-year-old man with a slow pulse. He observed that the a-to-c intervals of the jugular venous waves remained constant until an a wave occurred that was not followed by the c wave or a radial pulse. The pause was equal to 2 atrial pulse-wave intervals

1906 – Wenckebach ** acknowledged Hay’s report, and suggested that the pauses found in Hay’s patient were the result of both abnormal AV conduction and abnormal ventricular excitability. [Archiv für Physiologie 1906:332]

**Hay had also spent six month’s studying with Wenckebach at Freiburg.

1924Woldemar Mobitz reported ECG correlations of the abnormal jugular wave findings as originally described by Wenkebach and Hay, and classified the AV block into two types

  • Regarding date of death: 21st March 1959 (Munks Roll); 23rd April 1959 (Lancet) and 21st April 1959 (Clinical cardiology)
  • Rare, unfounded claims by compatriots of Hay suggest he discovered both type I and II second-degree AV block

Major Publications



Eponymous terms

Dr Ben Mackenzie emergency medicine trainee | LinkedIn |

BA MA (Oxon) MBChB (Edin) FACEM FFSEM. Emergency physician, 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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