Ronald Cormack

Ronald ‘Ronnie’ Sidney Cormack (1930 – )

Co-authored a paper with John Lehane in 1984 which formed the foundation of the Cormack-Lehane laryngoscopy grades. The paper has a citation score of >1600 making it one of the most quoted papers in the science.

  • Born in 1930 in Rangoon, Burma where his surgeon father was head of military services
  • 1961 – Graduated medicine from Oxford university
  • Senior lecturer at Bristol
  • 1972 – MRC unit at Northwick Park Hospital, Harrow in charge of the obstetric service. He worked with John Lehane from 1978 and together they worked on a system of teaching students intubation in Obstetric patients. This resulted in their famous classification of the laryngeal view into the four grades.
  • 1984 – Co-author of the Cormack-Lehane scoring system, a simple classification system for grading direct laryngoscopy in Anaesthesia
  • Early retirement to focus on his research interests and writing
  • 2013 – DAS Macewen Medal from the Difficult Airway Society

Medical Eponyms
Cormack-Lehane scoring system (1984)

Classification describes the best glottic view possible at laryngoscopy:

  • Grade I: complete glottis visible
  • Grade II: anterior glottis not seen
  • Grade III: epiglottis seen, but not glottis
  • Grade IV: epiglottis not seen
Cormack-Lehane scoring system laryncoscopy

Major Publications



Eponymous terms

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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