Prof P.K. Pel

Pieter Klazes Pel (1852 – 1919) was a Dutch physician and professor of internal medicine.

Pel’s name is associated with periodic fever in Hodgkin’s disease, the so-called Pel-Ebstein fever, described first in 1885. Pel is also associated with the archaic term Pel’s crisis


  • Born 22 February 1852 in Drachten, Nederland
  • 1876 – MD. Thesis ‘Over de koortsverwekkende werking van digitaline’ at Universiteit te Leiden
  • 1877-1883 Lecturer, Universiteit van Amsterdam, Faculty of Medicine
  • 1883-1919 Full Professor of Medicine, Universiteit van Amsterdam, Faculty of Medicine
  • Died 15 February 1919 in Amsterdam, Nederland

Medical Eponyms

Pel-Ebstein fever (1885, 1887)

Key Medical Contributions

Clinical Teaching: Pel shared the view of his contemporary Osler that the teaching and training of young doctors should be done at the bedside, with of patient and not in a classroom. “While before, the patient served primarily as an example or illustration of the dominant educational theories, in the modern world attention focuses primarily on the careful and objective examination of patients”

Bedside teaching College van professor Pel (1852-1919)
Bedside teaching. Pel in the lecture hall from the internal clinic with the patient central to education. Pel (1852-1919)

In his inaugural speech as Full Professor of Medicine, Universiteit van Amsterdam, Pel outlined how much medicine had changed over the course of the 19th century…

Wat leert in dit opzicht een terugblik op het verleden? Voorheen voornamelijk dogmata, empirie zonder methode, autoriteitsgeloof en abstracte redeneringen…. En thans? Strenge handhaving en toepassing der natuurwetenschappelijke methoden van onderzoek, objectief onderzoek van het zieke individu, nauwkeurige localisatie der ziekten, onvermoeid vorschen naar het ontstaan, de verklaring, de betekenis en den samenhang der ziekteverschijnselen

Pel PK, 1883

What does a retrospective view of the past teach? Previously mainly dogmata, empirics without method, belief in authority and abstract reasoning…. And now? Strict enforcement and application of the scientific methods of research, objective research of the sick individual, accurate localization of the diseases, untiringly inquiring into the origin, explanation, meaning and coherence of the symptoms of the disease.

Pel PK, 1883



Als iemand mij zegt dat er in de tuin hiernaast een dier op 4 poten loopt, dan kan het een tijger of een olifant zijn, maar ik denk toch eerder aan een poes of een hond

If someone tells me that there is an animal on 4 legs in the garden next to it, it could be a tiger or an elephant, but I think more of a cat or a dog

Major Publications


  • NAME: PK Pel, Pel PK, Pieter Klazes Pel, Pieter Klaazes Pel, Pieter Klazes Pel, Pieter Klaases Pel, Pieter Klaesz Pel



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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