William Dock

William Dock (1898 – 1990)

William Dock (1898 – 1990) was an American cardiologist.

In the 1940’s he cautioned that high-fat diets could lead to atherosclerosis. Dock introduced ‘bed to chair‘ movement within the first 48 hours of acute myocardial infarct in the 1930’s.

Popularised ‘Sutton’s Law‘ (Dock’s Law) – if ‘the money‘ resides in a specific diagnostic test, then that test should be conducted immediately instead of several steps into a general algorithm

William Dock – an irascible visionary whose prophetic warnings bucked convention...’


  • Born 1898 Ann Arbor, Michigan
  • 1923 – Rush Medical College in Chicago
  • Croix de Guerre for his service (volunteer ambulance driver) in France during World War I
  • Professor of Pathology at Stanford
  • Professor of Pathology at Cornell
  • Died October 17, 1990

Key Medical Attributions

  • Aware of the thromboembolic complications caused by prolonged bed rest he recommended early ambulation. At a symposium at Cornell, he presented the topic “The abuse of bed rest”.
  • Extensive work on atherosclerosis, diet and the ageing heart.

Medical Eponyms

Go to the patient, because that’s where the diagnosis is.

Major Publications

  • Dock W. Mode of production of the first heart sound. Arch lntern MedS I, 1933; 737-746
  • Dock W. The eviil sequelqae of complete bed rest. JAMA. 1944;125(16):1083-1085
  • Dock W. Presbycardia, or aging of the myocardium. NY State J Med 1945 45,983-986
  • Dock W. The mechanism and management of circulatory failure. Bull N Y Acad Med. 1951 Nov;27(11):645-52. [PMC1930129]
  • Dock W. Hypercholesteremia; its clinical significance and management. Med Clin North Am. 1952 May;36(3):865-74. [PMID 14928861]
  • Dock W, Zoneraich S. A diastolic murmur arising in a stenosed coronary artery. Am J Med. 1967 Apr;42(4):617-9. [PMID 6023006]
  • Dock W. Atherosclerosis: the facts and the mysteries. Bull N Y Acad Med. 1967 Sep;43(9):792-7. [PMC1806766]
  • Dock W. Proteinuria: the story of 280 years of trials, errors, and rectifications. Bull N Y Acad Med. 1974 Jun;50(6):659-66.[PMC1749399]


eponymictionary CTA 2


the person behind the name

Posted by Dr Mike Cadogan

Emergency physician with a passion for medical informatics and medical education/textbooks. Asynchronous learning #FOAMed evangelist | @sandnsurf | + Mike Cadogan | LinkedIn

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